December 18, 2009Renewable Energy
Asian Development Bank Expands Programs to Foster Region's Clean Energy Development
TAIPEI, Taiwan The Asian Development Bankhas announced several clean energy initiatives to help the region transition to a low-carbon economy.
The Manila-based bank has committed to investing at least $2 billion per year in the clean energy sector by 2013.
The bank said Dec. 18 that the Philippines will receive $250 million through the Clean Technology Fund, one of two Climate Investment Funds approved by the World Bank in 2008. Aid from the funds is channeled through multilateral development banks such as ADB.
The Philippines will use the funds for energy efficiency programs and renewable energy development, including solar power and smart electricity grids.
These are projects that help us mitigate and adjust to climate change, Philippines President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo said in a statement issued by the bank. In the last few years, the country has experienced devastating typhoons and floods.
The investment should benefit tens of millions of Filipinos by simultaneously bringing down energy costs and contributing to lower greenhouse gas emissions, ADB Vice President Ursula Schaefer-Preuss said in the statement.
Thailand and Vietnam also will receive assistance from the Clean Technology Fund, the bank said.
The money is part of $700 million that the bank announced Dec. 3 it will channel to its developing member countries to help them deal with climate change. (See related story; 231 WCCR, 12/4/09.)
Greater Mekong Area Targeted
The bank also announced Dec. 17 that it will invest $15 million to support clean energy projects in the Greater Mekong Sub-region and South Asia through the Mekong Brahmaputra Clean Development Fund. The fund will invest in companies engaged in renewable energy, energy efficiency, and water conservation and waste recycling projects. At least 10 clean energy projects will be launched by 2014, the bank said.
The bank said development of clean energy is critical in Asia and the Pacific region, where about 1 billion people have no access to electricity. The bank said that in 2008, 83 percent of households in Cambodia, 80 percent in Laos, and more than 50 percent in Vietnam relied on wood fuel. In addition, strong economic growth throughout Asia has already created substantial pressure on the environment.
The Mekong Brahmaputra Clean Development Fund has a target size of $100 million and will be managed by Dragon Capital Clean Development Investments Ltd., a subsidiary of the Dragon Capital Group, which has long-standing experience in asset management in Vietnam. Other investors in the fund include the Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries, the Finnish Fund for Industrial Cooperation, and the Netherlands Development Finance Co.
Technical Assistance Grants
Also on Dec. 18, the Asian Development Bank announced technical assistance grants totaling $3.87 million to lay the groundwork for bringing wind-generated electricity to poor rural communities, including many not served by electrical grids.
The bank said the grants will help in the development of financing mechanisms to boost the viability of small wind power systems. The work also will include consideration of public-private partnerships and build-operate-transfer models, along with ways of utilizing carbon credits, to boost the feasibility and sustainability of wind power. All the assistance activities will be carried out between January 2010 and June 2012.
The bank estimates that by 2020, small wind power systems will serve 2.5 million poor people in Asia and the Pacific and avoid 1.25 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions a year.