New Hub Established to Develop Sustainable Energy in Asia Pacific

This Wednesday, the new Sustainable Energy for All Hub for Asia Pacific was formed at the 9th Asia Clean Energy Forum. It is one of the three regional hubs established under the Sustainable Energy for All Initiative organized by current United Nations General Secretary Ban Ki-moon to increase access to modern energy services, improve energy efficiency and expand the share of renewable energy in the energy mix around the world. The hub is an initiative, sponsored by the Asia Development Bank (ADB), that aims to bring together professionals, technical experts and investors to advance these goals in the Asia Pacific region.

“The hub will leverage the existing structures of ADB, UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) and UNESCAP (United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific) energy programs and support to countries in conducting rapid assessments, building constructive dialogue on policy and catalyzing investments and mobilizing bilateral and global funds for clean energy development,” according to a press release by the ADB.

One of the main reasons for creating this hub is to find a solution for the lack of modern energy services to the poor. It is estimated that there are 700 million people without access to electricity and 2 billion people who still rely on firewood and crop waste to cook and heat their homes across developing Asia.

Asia Pacific will need over US$200 billion worth of investments to meet the goal of ensuring full access to energy by 2030, according to the International Energy Agency.

RELATED: World Economic Forum Assesses ASEAN’s Rising Energy Demand

To increase access to electricity, the hub can look into micro-hydro, solar, biomass and small wind power technologies as feasible ways to produce renewable energy. The ADB states that almost 1,000 technical experts, investors, project developers and policymakers will meet at its Manila headquarters for the 9th Asian Clean Energy Forum that takes place from June 16th to 20th to further discuss this issue.

The demand for energy in the Asia Pacific region has been growing along with rapid economic development. The ADB estimates that Asia will take a 56 percent share of global energy use, a 22 percent increase from 2010.

Another challenge for policymakers in the region is to ensure energy security and environmental sustainability at the same time. Therefore, promoting the use of renewable energy is an urgent task in the region.

The new energy hub will be funded through contributions from the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Among them, the ADB is assigned to manage and host the hub.

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