ADB Calls for Asia and Pacific to make transition to solar power

“The Asia and Pacific region has the right combination of elements – demand for energy, access to sunlight and arid land, technological maturity, and a sound investment climate,” Mr. Kuroda said at the First Asia Solar Energy Forum in Manila.

However, he said that obstacles such as high up-front capital costs of investing in solar energy and a high-risk perception had to date been keeping many solar energy investors on the sidelines.

“As a result, there is a risk of ‘Solar Divide’ where developing countries cannot receive the benefit of environmental technology despite its large potential,” he continued. “The role of multilateral development institutions, such as ADB and its partners, should be to play a catalytic role to overcome these institutional capacity, policy, technology, and financing barriers.”

The two-day forum, a part of the Asian Solar Energy Initiative (ASEI) announced by ADB earlier this year, brought together some 200 policy makers and solar energy-related professionals from 34 ADB member countries.

Under ASEI, ADB targets to catalyze projects for about 3,000 megawatts in solar power by 2013. The ASEI also includes the establishment of a knowledge platform named the Asia Solar Energy Forum, support for project preparation, and direct financing of solar energy projects.

The event was hosted by ADB in partnership with the International Energy Agency (IEA), the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), and the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP).