The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is working with governments and communities to increase access to clean, renewable power and to enhance energy security and build resilient low-carbon economies for a more prosperous Pacific, a new ADB report said.“ADB is the largest investor in renewable energy in the Pacific, which is still heavily reliant on diesel for power generation,” said Michael Trainor, Energy Specialist in ADB’s Pacific Department. “We are working with governments and communities to improve the quantity and quality of energy services across the region by ramping up support for the transition to renewable energy.”
The Pacific Energy Update 2016 says achieving reliable access to clean energy is essential for human development and low carbon economic growth. As energy demand in the Asia and Pacific region is projected to almost double by 2030, ADB is helping to improve regional energy systems with a three-pronged approach. ADB seeks to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy, maximize access to modern energy services, and promote energy sector reform, capacity building, and effective governance.
ADB’s clean energy assistance in Papua New Guinea (PNG) includes improving the use of hydropower by upgrading and rehabilitating two hydropower plants. In Solomon Islands, ADB is supporting the country’s drive to tap more of its energy from clean sources, including hydro and solar power. In Cook Islands the ADB-supported Renewable Energy Sector Project is installing solar generating systems on six islands, which will help the government achieve its goal of supplying 100% of inhabited islands with renewable energy by 2020.
The report highlights country-by-country pipelines of energy projects and technical assistance, which Pacific governments have prioritized for ADB assistance. The report also provides a summary of existing operations in Cook Islands, Fiji, Federated States of Micronesia, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, and Vanuatu. There are also regional initiatives underway and planned ADB energy work in Timor-Leste.
ADB has a current Pacific energy sector portfolio of $367 million, with a pipeline of seven projects in five Pacific countries worth $150 million over 2016-2018.ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, ADB in December 2016 will mark 50 years of development partnership in the region. It is owned by 67 members—48 from the region. In 2015, ADB assistance totaled $27.2 billion, including cofinancing of $10.7 billion.