New hub to bring investment and innovation in clean energy to Asia and the PacificJun 18, 2014
Manila, Philippines ‒ A new regional hub launched here today will help mobilize investment and innovative solutions to bring clean, modern energy to those who do not have it in Asia and the Pacific. The Asia-Pacific Sustainable Energy for All hub will gather governments, investors, innovators and experts to find ways and means for bringing energy to more than 600 million in this region who live without electricity and 1.8 billion who lack access to clean cooking and heating energy solutions.
“Universal access to modern energy means far more than merely providing kilowatt hours. It means providing energy for schools, health clinics, small businesses, and other productive services that improve lives. This new hub will be an important resource for countries looking for clean energy solutions that serve the poor,” said Caitlin Wiesen, Manager of the UNDP Asia-Pacific Regional Centre.
The new facility is a partnership of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), which will manage and host it, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP).
It is one of the three regional hubs under the global Sustainable Energy for All Initiative set up by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon with three targets to be met by 2030: universal access to modern energy services; double the annual global rate of improvement in energy efficiency; and double the share of renewable energy.
The hub will leverage the existing structures of ADB, UNDP and UNESCAP energy programmes that support countries in conducting rapid assessments of energy needs and plans, fostering policy dialogue on investment and market development, and catalyzing investments and mobilizing funds for clean energy development.
“Developing Asia is home to the majority of the world’s energy poor, more than 600 million without access to electricity and around 1.8 billion people still using fuels like firewood or charcoal to cook their food and heat their homes,” said Bindu Lohani, ADB’s Vice-President for Knowledge Management and Sustainable Development.
Asia’s demand for energy is on the rise as the region’s economies expand and populations move to cities where energy use is higher. By 2035, developing countries in Asia will account for 56 percent of global primary energy use, up from 34 percent in 2010. This needs to be met by increasing the use of renewable energy and by achieving greater energy efficiency if the environment is to be safeguarded.
The International Energy Agency estimates that Asia and the Pacific will need investments of more than $200 billion to provide full access to energy by 2030.
In Asia and the Pacific, UNDP supports 36 developing countries with comprehensive programmes focusing on providing energy access, promoting renewable energy, and fostering energy efficiency as part of broader efforts to reduce poverty. In the last two decades, UNDP mobilized more than $600 million to finance energy projects in the region from energy efficient buildings to innovative off-grid solutions for the energy poor.
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