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Private investments eyed for clean energy projects

June 19, 2019

A partnership for more investments in clean energy projects across Asia Pacific has been forged by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the United States Agency for International Development (Usaid).

ADB’s director general for Strategy, Policy, and Review Department Tomoyuki Kimura and USAID Asia Bureau acting assistant administrator Gloria Steele on Tuesday signed the partnership agreement during the Asia Clean Energy Forum (ACEF) at the ADB headquarters in Mandaluyong City.

The initiative involves mobilizing $7 billion worth of investment for energy projects in Asia Pacific, boosting the capacity of clean energy systems by 6 gigawattts (GW), and increasing regional energy trade by 10 percent over the next five years.

During the press briefing, Steele said the partnership’s primary objective is to have the private sector onboard to finance projects in the region’s energy sector. In particular, both parties will work together to “catalyze” partnerships with private sector entities on power projects.

“What we are planning to do is to get private sector engaged in the energy sector in the region. From their engagement we will be able to mobilize investments from the private sector,” Steele said. “It will try to get companies to work together to mobilize resources to finance energy projects in the various countries in the region,” she added.

Steele said ADB and Usaid will not be giving out loans but instead provide technical support services enabling them to collaborate.

Kimura said the agreement will promote energy efficiency, energy sector reform, and good governance of Asia and the Pacific’s energy sector. Both institutions “will focus on clean energy, renewable, and energy access for all,” he added.

ADB earlier said the advancement of affordable and reliable clean energy is not only at the forefront of Asia and the Pacific’s development progress but also at the heart of the region’s development of resilient infrastructure and fight against climate change.

“People around the world are demanding affordable energy, clean air, and a more responsible approach to the environment,” ADB President Takehiko Nakao said in a statement. “A sustainable and secure energy supply remains essential as more than 350 million people still lack access to electricity in our developing member countries (DMCs). It is also a key part of the fight against climate change,” he added.

Through its Strategy 2030, the ADB has vowed to support climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts by 2030 in at least 75 percent of its operations. The ADB also affirmed its commitment to advance technologies in sustainable energy by launching its first innovation technology challenge wherein technology providers will be invited to submit proposals for grants from the High-Level Technology Fund.

The Japanese government will support this initiative to address energy-related development challenges. The regional development bank is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty.

In 2018, the ADB committed new loans and grants amounting to $21.6 billion.

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