ADB To Increase Investment In Improving Efficiency In Energy Use

By EnergyAsia, August 5th, 2013

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) said it will boost investment in improving end-user energy efficiency to help Asia Pacific countries tackle surging power demand and growing environmental threats from greenhouse gas emissions.

The bank announced its initiative at a recent conference in Manila, Philippines in which it also released a study, “Same Energy, More Power: Accelerating Energy Efficiency in Asia,” on the rapid growth in power demand in developing Asia.

The study predicts that the region’s share of primary global energy consumption will rise from 34% in 2010 to as much as 56% in 2035. By then, most Asian countries will produce less than half of the energy they need, forcing substantial fuel imports.

“There is huge potential for saving energy by making buildings, vehicles, machinery, and water pumps more energy efficient to the benefit of consumers and the environment, and the time is right for ADB to do more in this area,” said Bindu N. Lohani, ADB’s Vice-President for Knowledge Management and Sustainable Development.

“We want to promote demand-side energy efficiency through public and private sector partnership, with ADB taking a lead role in providing customized policy advisory services, technical assistance, and innovative financing support in developing member countries.”

By using energy more efficiently, the bank said the region would reduce the need to build power plants and lower imported fuel bills to free up government funds for spending elsewhere.

“This spending could include provision of electricity to the estimated 628 million people in the region who currently have no supply,” said the bank.

Implementing energy efficiency measures is more cost effective than expanding energy generation. The study notes that energy efficiency investments equivalent to 1% – 4% of energy sector spending could meet as much as 25% of the projected increase in primary energy consumption in developing Asia by 2030.

ADB said it has been expanding investment in clean energy covering renewable energy and energy efficiency measures.

Last year, the bank, provided $2.3 billion in financing clean energy projects, and invested more than US$970 million in energy efficiency projects, with the majority of projects focused on demand-side energy efficiency, including households and manufacturing plants.

The bank is interested in supporting energy-efficient public building upgrades, street lighting improvements, and upgrades of electricity metering devices as well as energy-efficiency programmes in utilities and state-owned industrial facilities. It may also provide financing mechanisms to help manufacturers phase out inefficient products.

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