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ADB’s Asia Clean Energy Forum 2018: technology and innovation are key to a clean energy future

ADB’s Asia Clean Energy Forum 2018: technology and innovation are key to a clean energy future

An announcement
made by the Asian
Development Bank
(ADB) highlighted the significance of technology
and innovation in pushing towards a low-carbon energy future in the Asia and
the Pacific.

Participants of an international forum held
at the ADB headquarters said that technology and innovation can play an
important role in Asia and the Pacific’s push towards a low-carbon energy
future.

The two also have the potential to
contribute in providing access to cleaner and more affordable energy sources
across the region.

With the theme, “Harnessing Innovation to
Power the Future,” the Asia Clean Energy Forum (ACEF) 2018 is currently being
held from 4 to 8 June 2018.

ADB, along with the United States Agency for
International Development
(USAID), the Korean Energy Agency
(KEA) and the
ADB Institute
, is co-hosting the event, which brings together over
1,000 entrepreneurs, policymakers, financial institutions, NGOs, and
participants from the academia, from more than 50 countries.

ACEF began in 2006 as an annual event to
provide a platform for collaboration in promoting clean energy in Asia and the
Pacific.

Among the topics included in the week-long
event are future energy innovations such as energy in buildings, renewable
energy in urban settings, decentralised power grids, health and environmental
benefits of energy efficiency, clean cooking, new business models, and digital
transformation and innovations.

The notable speakers during the event are Energy Agency
Chief Economist Mr Laszlo Varro, Grameen Bank Co-Founder and the Bright Green Energy
Foundation
(BGEF) Founder and Chairman Mr Dipal Chandra Barua, and Costa Rica Limpia
Founder and Director of Ms Monica Araya.

“New technologies such as smart grids,
large-scale battery energy storage, renewable energy-based micro-grids with
storage, waste-to-energy, carbon capture and storage, and artificial
intelligence have huge potentials to accelerate the clean energy transformation,”
said ADB President Mr Takehiko Nakao.

He added, “But technology by itself is not
enough. Projects with advanced technologies must be accompanied by viable
business models, stable regulation, and smart policies to deploy the
technologies.”

Large development challenges remain despite
the rapid growth of Asia and the Pacific over the past few decades. For
instance, 440 million people still lack access to electricity in the developing
region.

Innovative technologies will play a big
role in securing energy access for these people, most of which live in remote
rural areas and islands.

In 2017, the ADB launched the New Energy
Leaders Program to showcase creative solutions to these challenges and
recognise the next generation of clean energy entrepreneurs.

At the opening plenary of ACEF 2018, seven
New Energy Leaders for the year 2018 received awards for their contribution in
businesses ranging from off-grid power solutions to large-scale wind and solar,
energy efficiency, and digital customer solutions using big data and analytics.

Support for clean energy forms the
foundation for ADB’s efforts to combat climate change. Clean energy offers a
win-win solution of mitigating greenhouse gas emissions and at the same time
meeting the need for new and expanded energy sources.

Over US$2 billion in climate mitigation
finance in energy was invested by ADB in 2017. With contributions from other
sectors, ADB is on track toward doubling the annual climate finance to US$6
billion by 2020, US$4 billion of which will be for mitigation.

In Sri Lanka, ADB is providing US$200
million for a 100-megawatt wind power generation project, which is helping to
diversify the country’s power generation through clean, renewable energy
sources.

In the Philippines, ADB provided technical
assistance and grant funds for a solar-diesel mini-grid which provides 24-hour
access to electricity on Cobrador Island.

In the People’s Republic of China, ADB provided US$250
million in loans to a joint venture of Chinese and Icelandic companies to
expand district heating services based on geothermal technology.