The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is partnering with governments, communities, and the private sector to help improve the availability and quality of clean and affordable sustainable power in the Pacific region, says a new ADB report. The Pacific Energy Update 2017 provides a comprehensive overview of ADB’s energy-focused work in the Pacific. The publication highlights the impacts of ADB-supported energy initiatives completed in 2016 and ongoing in 2017, while providing details of what ADB hopes to achieve in the energy sector in the future.
“In its capacity as the largest investor in renewable energy in the Pacific, ADB is improving efficiency and scaling up the use of renewable energy to drive resilient, low-carbon economic growth for a more prosperous Pacific,” says Michael Trainor, Energy Specialist from ADB’s Pacific Department and co-author of the report.
The Pacific Energy Update 2017 says achieving reliable access to clean energy is essential to human development. As energy demand in Asia and the Pacific grows rapidly, ADB is helping to improve regional energy systems with a three-tiered energy approach: (i) promoting energy efficiency and renewable energy; (ii) maximizing access to energy for all; and (iii) promoting energy sector reform, capacity building, and effective governance.
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 the Cook Islands, Fiji, the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), the Marshall Islands, Nauru, Papua New Guinea (PNG), Samoa, the Solomon Islands, Tonga, and Vanuatu. There are also regional initiatives underway and planned ADB energy work in Timor-Leste.
In the Cook Islands, the ADB-supported Renewable Energy Sector Project is installing solar generating systems on five islands, which will help the government achieve its goal of supplying 100% of inhabited islands with renewable energy by 2020. In FSM, ADB will implement four subprojects to build renewable energy generation capacity on each of the country’s states and to increase battery storage, improve system efficiency, and increase electrification rates. In 2015, the Government of Fiji requested assistance from ADB to develop the institutional capacity for regulation of Fiji’s electricity sector, and to develop a sector investment planning framework.
ADB’s clean energy assistance in PNG includes improving the use of hydropower by upgrading and rehabilitating two hydropower plants. In the Solomon Islands, ADB is supporting the country’s drive to tap more of its energy from clean sources, including hydro and solar power. ADB has a current Pacific energy sector portfolio of $355.14 million, with a pipeline of 17 projects in 11 Pacific countries worth $725.29 million — including $449.89 million in cofinancing — over 2017-2020.
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 is celebrating 50 years of development partnership in the region. It is owned by 67 members—48 from the region. In 2016, ADB assistance totaled $31.7 billion, including $14 billion in cofinancing.