The Sixth Asia Clean Energy Forum 2011, themed “New Business Models and Policy Drivers - Building the Low-Carbon Future,” took place from Wednesday, 22 to Friday, 24 June 2011 in Manila, Philippines, preceded by preparatory meetings from 20-21 June. The event was organized by Asian Development Bank (ADB), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and the World Resources Institute (WRI), and aimed to promote best practices in clean energy policy and regulation, financing and investment, innovative business models, and energy access.
More than 550 participants from over 50 countries, representing governments, financial institutions, civil society, academia, international organizations, and the private sector, gathered in daily plenaries, breakout sessions, and parallel side events to discuss innovative and creative methods to encourage large-scale clean energy development and deployment.
The Forum was framed around four overarching thematic areas: policy and regulation; financing and investment; innovative business models; and energy for all. Important recurring messages of the Forum included: developing financial mechanisms to more effectively link both large and small scale project developers with private and public financiers; strengthening capacity to design and implement business models for clean and renewable energy projects; creating an enabling environment for markets; maturing the market for renewables; addressing operational and technical dimensions of renewable energy projects to develop credible financial products; and doing all of these things with special care to ensure that they are inclusive of efforts to improve energy access and eradicate energy poverty.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE ACEF AND INTERGOVERNMENTAL CLEAN AND RENEWABLE ENERGY-RELATED PROCESSES
During the fuel crisis of the 1970s, many countries began exploring alternative sources of energy. The international community’s first major attempt to develop a strategy for the use of alternative fuels was the 1981 UN General Assembly Resolution A/RES/36/193 on the outcomes of the UN Conference on New and Renewable Sources of Energy.
Beginning in the 1990s, renewable and clean energy increased in importance given the environmental implications of rising greenhouse gas emissions linked with economic growth. Renewable forms of energy such as solar, wind, geothermal and biomass are those that can be regenerated without compromising future generations. Clean energy sources are differentiated from renewable energy in that, while their output is generally greenhouse gas neutral, their fuel source is a finite resource which must be extracted from the earth; examples include nuclear power and clean coal technologies.
While renewable and clean energy sources have emerged as fundamental to meeting the challenges posed by climate change, they have also been recognized as being an essential foundation for meeting the livelihood needs of the poor, who are often not only economically impoverished, but energy-poor as well. Specifically, 1.6 billion people have no access to electricity and 2.5 billion lack adequate access to modern energy services. Alleviating this energy poverty is seen as a prerequisite to achieving the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015, and renewable energies are seen as uniquely placed to begin overcoming this challenge by offering opportunities for small-scale, decentralized energy production, ideal for reaching rural and remote areas not serviced by existing energy grids.
Taken together, the environmental, social, and economic drivers behind renewable energy uptake have led to an increasing focus by the international community on the need to facilitate the scaling-up of clean and renewable energy both regionally and globally. To this effect, there has been an emerging UN process since the UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in 1992 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, including various UN organizations and agencies, as well as a series of international conferences and forums. Most recently, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) entered the scene in April 2011. IRENA’s objectives are to provide an international institutional framework to consolidate policy efforts and facilitate information sharing to catalyze the transition toward a renewables-based society.
The following is an overview of international processes that have shaped the progression of renewable energy.
UN CONFERENCES AND SUMMITS
At UNCED, delegates adopted Agenda 21, an action plan for implementing sustainable development. Agenda 21 addresses sustainable energy, in Chapter 9 on protecting the atmosphere, which notes that controlling atmospheric emissions of greenhouse gases and other substances will increasingly require reliance on environmentally sound energy systems, particularly new and renewable sources of energy. The chapter also addresses, inter alia, the need for research and development, the transfer and use of technologies; and measures to overcome barriers for the use of renewables.
In the years following UNCED, several UN conferences and summits addressed renewable energy and sustainable development issues in their outcome documents. These included the Global Conference on Sustainable Development in Small Island Developing States (1994), International Conference on Population and Development (1995), World Summit on Social Development (1995), Fourth World Conference on Women (1995), UN Conference on Human Settlements (1996) and World Food Summit (1996). The World Solar Summit in 1996 and the 19th Special Session of the UN General Assembly (UNGASS 19) in 1997 also addressed energy issues, with UNGASS 19 deciding that the issue should be further examined during the ninth session of the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD 9) in 2001.
In April 2001, CSD 9 adopted Decision 9/1 (E/ CN.17/2001/19) on “Energy for sustainable development.” The Decision included recommendations to encourage the role of the private sector, strengthen research and development and institutional capacities, develop and use indigenous sources of renewable energy, and strengthen financial support to developing countries. It also addressed issues of energy accessibility and rural energy, noting that access to affordable energy services is a prerequisite for implementation of the goal accepted by the international community to halve the proportion of people living on less than US$1 per day by 2015. IISD Reporting Services (RS) coverage of CSD 9 can be found at: http://enb.iisd.org/csd/csd9/
CSD 15, at its May 2007 meeting, also addressed energy issues, although delegates did not reach consensus on any decisions. IISD RS coverage of CSD 15 can be found at: http://enb.iisd.org/csd/csd15
The World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) convened in August-September 2002 in Johannesburg, South Africa. WSSD participants adopted the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation (JPOI), which addresses renewable energy in several of its chapters. Regarding sustainable consumption and production patterns (Chapter III), governments agreed to increase substantially the global share of renewable energy sources. The JPOI also addressed renewable energy issues in text on poverty eradication (Chapter II), small island developing states (Chapter VII), and Africa (Chapter VIII). At the WSSD, Gerhard Schröder, then German Chancellor, invited the international community to Germany for an International on Renewable Energy (Renewables 2004), which launched the series of IREC meetings. IISD RS coverage of WSSD can be found at: http://enb.iisd.org/2002/wssd
The International Renewable Energy Conference (Renewables 2004) took place from 1-4 June 2004 in Bonn, Germany. Participants addressed issues, including: policies for renewable energy market development; best-practice examples and success stories; financing options; strengthening capacities, research and policy development, and institutions; energy services and the MDGs; and the contribution of renewable energy in meeting the climate challenge. The outcomes of the conference included policy recommendations, an international action programme and a political declaration. The declaration called for the establishment of a global policy network, which led to the creation of the Renewable Energy Network for the 21st Century (REN21). IISD RS coverage of Renewables 2004 can be found at: http://enb.iisd.org/crs/ren2004
The Beijing International Renewable Energy Conference (BIREC), hosted by China in November 2005, addressed practical measures, success stories, and effective legislative and policy measures to create institutional and technical infrastructures. Participants adopted the Beijing Declaration, which recognized the need for significant financial resources, both public and private, for investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency, and emphasized the need for enhanced international cooperation for capacity building in developing countries, among other issues.
The Washington International Renewable Energy Conference (WIREC), convened from 4-6 March 2008 in Washington DC, US. Participants discussed four main themes: market adoption and finance; agriculture, forestry and rural development; state and local authorities; and research and development. By the end of the conference over 100 domestic and international pledges had been submitted for the Washington International Action Programme, to accelerate the global uptake of renewable energy. IISD RS coverage of WIREC 2008 can be found at: http:// enb.iisd.org/ymb/wirec2008
The Delhi International Renewable Energy Conference (DIREC) took place from 27-29 October 2010, in New Delhi, India. The conference’s key outcomes included the DIREC Declaration and 30 new pledges by governments, civil society and the private sector under the Delhi International Action Programme to take concrete actions to up-scale renewable energy. IISD RS coverage of DIREC 2010 can be found at: http://enb.iisd.org/crs/energy/direc2010/
GLOBAL RENEWABLE ENERGY FORUM 2008
This Forum was held from 18-21 May 2008 in Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil, and endeavored to create a suitable environment to promote inter-regional dialogue and to set up joint actions between countries and regions to reduce poverty and enhance energy security through the use of renewable energy. IISD RS coverage of this meeting can be found at: http://enb.iisd.org/crs/greb2008/
GLOBAL RENEWABLE ENERGY FORUM 2009
This Forum was held from 7-9 October 2009 in León, Mexico, to encourage innovative multi-stakeholder and multi-regional partnerships for scaling-up renewable energy. The meeting concluded with several recommendations, including the need to: establish a global access fund to target chronic problems of access to energy; develop clear sustainability guidelines and standards for biofuels; strengthen regional research capacities through networks; and establish UN-Energy and industry partnerships. IISD RS coverage of the Forum can be found at: http://enb.iisd.org/crs/energy/greb2009/html/ymbvol128num3e.html
The IRENA statute was adopted on 26 January 2009, and entered into force on 8 July 2010. The first meeting of the IRENA’s Assembly, its governing body, was held from 3-5 April 2011 after two years of work by its Preparatory Commission. IRENA’s purpose is to promote the widespread and increased adoption and sustainable use of all forms of renewable energy by acting as a global clearinghouse of knowledge on renewable energy and assisting member states in defining renewable energy strategies. As of June 2011, IRENA has 149 signatories, with 74 states and the EU having also ratified its statute. IISD RS coverage of IRENA’s final Preparatory Commission and first Assembly meetings can be found at: http://enb.iisd.org/irena/irenaa1/
ASIA CLEAN ENERGY FORUM 2006
The ADB’s first Asia Clean Energy Forum, was envisaged as a knowledge-sharing event for policymakers and practitioners, to consult on ADB’s Energy Efficiency Initiative and its Energy Policy Review, share lessons learned on energy related technical assistance and to introduce ADB’s Carbon Market Initiative.
ASIA CLEAN ENERGY FORUM 2007
The second Asia Clean Energy Forum was themed “Policy and Finance Solutions for Energy Security and Climate Change.” Participants, including project developers, the financial community and policy makers, met to identify challenges related to project development and finance, and explored innovative ways to tackle these challenges. The ADB also announced the launch of an annual target of US$1 billion investments in clean energy.
ASIA CLEAN ENERGY FORUM 2008
The third Asia Clean Energy Forum was themed “Investing in Solutions that Address Climate Change and Energy Security.” The meeting served as a platform for sharing best practices on: catalyzing public-private energy partnerships to increase deployment of clean energy technologies and systems; improving cooperation stakeholders involved in financing clean energy programs; and identifying financing challenges for project developers and initiating follow-on assistance.
ASIA CLEAN ENERGY FORUM 2009
The fourth Asia Clean Energy Forum was conducted as part of ADB’s first “Climate Change and Clean Energy Week” and focused on initiatives to simultaneously address climate change, strengthen long-term energy security, and help businesses overcome the global economic downturn. Discussions focused on: energy efficiency and renewable energy; urban and transport issues; access to energy for the poor; and energy and global climate change. At the Forum, the ADB revised upwards its annual investment in clean energy initiatives to US$ 2 billion per year by 2013 and launched the Energy for All Partnership, aiming to bring power to 100 million people in the region by 2015.
ASIA CLEAN ENERGY FORUM 2010
The fifth Asia Clean Energy Forum was themed “Meeting the Technology Transfer Challenge” and brought together policymakers, private sector firms, and non-governmental organizations to explore aspects of technology transfer relating to: policy and regulation; technology and program implementation; financing efficiency and renewables; climate change frameworks and carbon markets; and providing energy for all.
REPORT OF THE FORUM
From Wednesday to Friday, participants engaged in morning plenary discussions on the following topics: accelerating the clean energy revolution; financing and business models for clean energy; and visions for a low-carbon future.
Opening Plenary - A Call to Action: Accelerating the Clean Energy Revolution: Welcoming participants to the Forum on Wednesday morning, Haruhiko Kuroda, President, Asian Development Bank (ADB), emphasized that green growth must become the new business as usual for Asia and the Pacific. He expressed his hope that the Forum’s discussions would focus on ideas for new policies, business models and investment strategies to build an inclusive low-carbon future.
Robert Orr, US Executive Director, ADB, described clean and renewable energy efforts in the US. Noting increasing energy demands in Asia, he outlined United States Agency for International Development (USAID) support of US$ 275 million to the region, including financing for clean energy development, regional power trading, and joint technological research.
Amory Lovins, Chairman, Rocky Mountain Institute, elaborated on how renewables and energy efficiency can nearly eliminate the need for fossil fuels for transport and energy production by 2050. On solutions for future and low-carbon transport needs, Lovins identified “feebates,” ultralight vehicles, simplified manufacturing, and electric propulsion. On electricity, he stressed: removing wasteful subsidies and redesigning wasteful devices; distributed microgrids; and other mechanisms for transforming customer costs into capital assets.
Mohamed El-Ashry, Chairman, Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN21), and Senior Fellow, UN Foundation, declared that sustainable development is not possible without making energy sustainable. He stressed the need to increase global financing and policy support and improve renewables-related capacities in least developed countries.
John Byrne, Distinguished Professor, University of Delaware, suggested that the US follow Californian and EU examples to overcome its “energy obesity” and improve economic performance through investments in renewable energy, efficiency and conservation measures. He called for new institutional systems to shift costs of renewables from consumers to utilities, and the use of urban areas for decentralized power generation.
Plenary on Financing and Business Models for Clean Energy Development: On Thursday morning, Peter du Pont, USAID, moderated a plenary panel session.
Henrik Breum, Vestas Wind Systems, compared the recent pace of change in the wind sector to advances in automobile development in the early 20th century, adding that the wind industry is now able to make yield guarantees, adding desperately needed predictability of returns for investors.
Pankaj Sehgal, SUN Group India, referred to subordinated debt as an important financing component for small renewables operations, and identified energy efficiency as low-hanging fruit that remains untouched because of high upfront costs, which, the Indian government has attempted to overcome via innovative financial mechanisms. Sehgal identified Husk Power Systems as a replicable, decentralized electricity producer providing inspiration for off-grid rural electrification and energy poverty reduction.
John Morton, Overseas Private Investment Corporation, commented that we are in the midst of “the most predictable economic transition in history,” but that catalyzing the private sector and de-risking investments require new financial products for “cracking the energy efficiency nut.” As an example, he offered the creation of insurance against governmental interference in carbon credit creation, to be used for REDD+ (reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, and conservation) projects.
Woochong Um, ADB, highlighted that ADB is investing in clean energy venture capital funds, agreeing that challenges to attracting private sector funding include the need for regulatory frameworks that provide certainty to investors.
Brad Sterley, Standard Chartered Bank, lamented that, although subordinated debt could be used to replace equity for renewables projects, such projects are often too small to be considered by investment banks, and profits are low and or subsidized.
Audience comments stressed that capital is available but viable renewable energy businesses are not being financed because they are either too small scale, or do not offer high enough annual returns or repay loans quickly enough. Panelists reiterated the need to develop new financial products to overcome these challenges, with Sehgal saying more “radical thinking” is needed in banking.
Closing Plenary: Putting It All Together: Visions for a Low-Carbon Future: Ann Quon, Principal Director, Department of External Relations, ADB, chaired the closing plenary on Friday morning.
Steve Sawyer, Global World Energy Council, said the main barriers to renewable uptake are fossil dependent legacy technologies and systems currently in use. He proposed that “clean” energy technologies such as new nuclear, Carbon Capture and Storage and clean coal, distract from moving towards a new energy path. Sawyer said it is not plausible for civil society to become very active in power generation technology, subsidy reform and infrastructure debates, but that the recent referendum over nuclear energy in Italy illustrates that civil society is willing and able to indicate development pathways to be taken.
Michael Wilshire, Director, Renewable Energy and Energy Smart Technologies, Bloomberg, agreed with Sawyer on barriers but added that financing availability has been as significant a barrier as legacies to date. He explained that both stable policies and improved cost competitiveness are needed to overcome these challenges and warned that financial stimulus packages, important recent sources of renewables financing, are soon expiring.
Zhou Dadi, Director General Emeritus, Energy Research Institute, National Development and Reform Commission, China, said a more precise definition of “low carbon future” is needed, as renewables and enhanced energy efficiency are only half the equation, with important questions remaining regarding societal and industrial development models. He added that there is no single solution to bringing about wide renewable energy deployment, but universally, governance must be strong and decisions should have strong scientific bases.
Athena Ronquillo-Ballesteros, Project Manager, International Financial Flows and Environment Project, World Resources Institute (WRI), said weak, and often nonexistent, regulatory support for renewables is a major barrier to their uptake, stressing that citizens must hold institutions accountable for implementing the policies they create, and also for creating those policies transparently to ensure public acceptance and ownership.
Xianbin Yao, Director General, Regional and Sustainable Development Department, ADB, said country specific policies and plans are important. He indicated that ADB is working to both finance innovation and innovate within finance. He urged that the energy poor be taken on board in energy policymaking.
In response to Chair Quon’s question about visions for a clean energy future, Yao urged countries to take a holistic perspective of their economies that accounts for all resource constraints, including energy; Ronquilo-Ballesteros called for innovation across the value chain, transformations in energy efficiency, scaling-up, and transparency in decision-making and implementation; Zhou advocated for energy conservation beyond the narrower goal of energy efficiency; Wilshire supported diverse solutions including cost reductions, energy efficiency, technological innovation and getting to scale; and Sawyer sought revolutions in pricing and regulation that would allow the low-hanging fruit of energy efficiency to finally be harvested.
In response to Quon’s request for take home messages from the Forum, Sawyer said, “We have met the enemy and he is us, and we must change,” while Zhou concluded that “everything that needs to be done is possible with what we have now.”
Throughout the meeting, participants took part in 24 breakout sessions along the Forum’s four overarching thematic tracks of: policy and regulation; financing and investment; innovative business models; and energy for all. IISD RS covered 18 of these and the following section summarizes these sessions grouped by the thematic tracks.
POLICY AND REGULATION TRACK
Policies to Improve Distribution System Efficiency and Develop Smart Grids in Asia: On Wednesday afternoon, Seethapathy Chander, ADB, chaired this session and stressed the need for investments to reduce energy losses from transmission and distribution.
Mayur Karmarkar, Partnership Asia and International Copper Association, described his association’s EU-funded partnership with the government of China, transformer manufacturers and others in the supply chain, which is improving distribution efficiency, raising market standards, and supporting China’s mandatory energy efficiency standards.
Tika Limbu, ADB, presented efforts to reduce current energy losses in transmission and distribution in India. Noting that growth in India’s power sector is almost 10 percent a year, he said ADB is supporting the formation of a single national grid by 2012, the current phase of which will avoid seven million tons of carbon dioxide emissions.
Grayson Heffner, International Energy Agency (IEA), underscored the need to understand smart grids in the context of the growing complexity of electricity systems. He said sophisticated smart grids with bi-directional communication between energy users and producers are needed to limit global warming. He outlined various challenges, including the establishment of global technology standards, and integration with existing infrastructure.
Carbon and Energy Finance: Domestic Carbon Trading: In a session chaired by Xuedu Lu, ADB, on Thursday morning, Huan Chen, Ministry of Finance, China, outlined feasibility studies, trading platforms, monitoring, reporting and verification standards and other activities to establish China’s mandatory cap-and-trade market.
Pongvipa Lohsomboon, Thailand Greenhouse Gas Management Organization, indicated that Thailand is strengthening market incentives to reduce domestic emissions. She cited measures including the Thailand Carbon Fund, and efforts to encourage companies and municipalities to undertake voluntary reductions.
Chu Thi Tanh Huong, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Vietnam, described plans to reduce domestic emissions, including a bilateral offset mechanism between Vietnam and Japan, and the Vietnam National Climate Change Strategy.
Dicky Edwin Hindarto, National Council on Climate Change, Indonesia, emphasized the need to pursue market and non-market greenhouse gas reduction instruments to address the full range of potential projects and spur carbon markets and other supply side measures.
Jennifer Morgan, WRI, underlined the need for countries to work through pros and cons of various distribution options for domestic cap-and-trade. She highlighted the tension between allocations versus auctions, and identified key considerations needed to ensure integrity of domestic markets.
Key Policy and Implementation Issues in Renewable Energy: This session took place on Thursday afternoon and was chaired by John Byrne, University of Delaware. Michael Wilshire, Bloomberg, predicted continued acceleration in investment, despite policy volatility and price uncertainty. He said strong policy shifts towards reducing system costs are expected, and cautioned against the risks posed by aggressive bidding to viable project finance and deployment.
Kyung-Jin Boo, Korean Institute of Energy Economics, said Korea is taking an increasingly market-based path towards low-carbon green growth, and underscored its smart application of feed-in tariffs, renewable portfolio standards, and renewable portfolio agreement.
Bundit Fungtamasan, King Mongkut University of Technology, Thailand, recounted challenges to scaling-up of renewable energy in Thailand, such as grid access and stability, but remained optimistic that financial incentives, microgrids, and other strategies would be able to cope with the task.
Shantanu Dixit, Prayas Energy Group, India, urged investors and policymakers to take a broader perspective beyond the usual discussion of financial incentives and regulatory frameworks. He said truly sustainable energy systems must consider who will bear incremental cost burdens, how to prioritize access for rural households, and how to deal with energy projects’ demands for land and water resources within rural communities.
Green Solutions for Public Transport: This session took place on Thursday afternoon, chaired by Prajna Rao, WRI’s EMBARQ India, who introduced a framework for action on sustainable transport.
Sophie Punte, CAI-Asia Center, illustrated that public transport, walking and cycling represent declining shares of total transport in Asia, and added that corruption among public officials has also led to a bias towards expensive, high-status transport projects.
Jitendra Shah, ADB, called for sustainable urban transport to integrate the needs of pedestrians and street vendors, and questioned the bias of policymakers towards car-centric development.
Ernesto Camarillo, City of Makati, described the Makati City Transport Development Strategy of 2011-2020 that will create a pedestrian walkway network, bicycle lanes, bus rapid transit (BRT), and electric “jeepneys” powered by organic waste.
Cresencio Montalbo, University of the Philippines, promoted the BRT approach that includes right-of-way lanes, excellent customer service and image branding, noting that it can be done for a fraction of the costs of rail.
David Margonsztern, ADB, presented the Kathmandu Sustainable Urban Transport Project as a case study in reforming urban transport systems.
FINANCING AND INVESTMENT TRACK
Using Public Investment to Leverage Private Capital: This session took place on Wednesday and was chaired by Steven Gray, Climate Change Capital. Isabelle Vincent, French Development Agency (AFD), called for development partners to play more active roles in strategy and design to facilitate policy transformation via more holistic thinking about energy systems. She explored tools and strategies for policy evolution and dialogue, including indicators accounting for social and environmental externalities and credit line support linked to on-the-ground projects.
Len George, ADB, explained strategies for using funds to capitalize additional investments. He described ADB’s support of large-scale solar in India, which facilitates public sector lending for infrastructure development and private sector lending through direct loans, credit guarantees, and other mechanisms for reducing investor risk. He described the need to involve stakeholders through initiatives such as the Asia Pacific Solar Forum, a knowledge-sharing platform.
Christianne Carin, Elk Partners LLC, explained how existing technologies can be bundled into stand-alone systems for health clinics, hospitals, sanitation centers, housing facilities and other users. She stated that these flexible, off-grid modules combine renewable energy sources, control software, microgrids, and other components into systems that can be rapidly implemented within two years, offering significant opportunities for scaling-up renewable technologies.
Eugene Yun, Eos Investment Partners, highlighted the need for a “game changer” to escape the vicious circles of inadequate capital, immature private equity, insufficient investment opportunities, and infrastructure underdevelopment. He said innovations in funding structures can meet these challenges by investing at scale, generating highly favorable risk-adjusted returns, mobilizing private sector capital, pooling investible projects, and applying risk mitigation tools.
In discussion, panelists fielded questions from participants on: clean technology funds; the need for multi-sectoral lending and promoting intersectoral dialogues; and civil society’s role in allocating foreign investments.
Energy Efficiency Investment: This Thursday morning breakout session was chaired by John Morton, Overseas Private Investment Corporation.
Catriona McLeod, ReEx Capital Asia, discussed investing through Energy Service Companies (ESCOs) and energy efficiency funds. She identified returns of up to 35 percent for efficiency investments, compared to 7-15 percent for other asset classes such as commodities and real estate. She said Singapore and the Philippines are currently the most profitable markets due to high electricity rates. She identified investment barriers including performance and credit risks, and uncertainties over electricity prices, energy usage, and time horizons.
Ivan Gerginov, Econoler, described designing and implementing energy efficiency funds in Bulgaria, China, Chile and Egypt in cooperation with ESCOs and banks, adopting flexible, tailor-made approaches ranging from raising venture capital in Chile to working with the Chinese government to create an ESCO to guarantee returns for investments.
Madeleine Varkay, ADB, estimated the energy efficiency investment potential in Indonesia to be US$ 4 billion, suggesting that the rubber, paper and garment industries could see energy savings of US$ 70-150 million a year. She also announced that a US$ 200 million ADB project for technical assistance in this area is in the pipeline.
Sanjoy Sanyal, New Ventures India, described a financing product targeting small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs), offered in partnership with the Industrial Development Bank of India, enabling SMEs to take out a loan for energy efficiency while the ESCO guarantees the energy savings.
Carbon and Energy Finance - Learning from the CDM: This session was chaired by Xuedu Lu, ADB, and took place on Thursday afternoon. Steven Gray, Climate Change Capital, summarized recent efforts to streamline procedures within the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), emphasizing that as a financial mechanism with a stringent monitoring, reporting and verification backbone, the CDM has been successful in attracting upfront risk capital.
Chen Huan, China CDM Fund, introduced the China CDM fund that was established by the government of China to direct revenue from CDM transactions towards market-driven mechanisms for addressing climate change. He asserted that the international CDM has triggered domestic action on climate change, noting that China’s budget allocations for energy-saving and emission reductions have risen steeply, with US$ 25 billion going to such efforts in 2009 and 2010.
Ingo Puhl, Carbon CME Ltd, discussed how institutions and mechanisms created through CDM could support Thailand’s efforts towards meeting renewable energy targets even if CDM does not continue. To accomplish this, he suggested a share of emission reductions needed to meet domestic targets be recognized as a part of Thailand’s Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs), housed within a national compliance account.
Jasper Inventor, Greenpeace, reminded participants that carbon markets are only tools for achieving emissions reductions, warning that Annex 1 parties should not forget the importance of maintaining ambitious emissions reduction goals.
Experience with Tradable Energy Certificates: This session took place on Friday and was chaired Pil-Bae Song, ADB.
Andrew Livingston, Office of the Renewable Energy Regulator, Australia, shared Australia’s pioneering experience with Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs), disclosing specific mechanisms used to create credibility and stability in the markets such as: an online registry to build transparency and trust; the splitting of large- and small-scale RECs; using a clearinghouse to safeguard stability of small-scale markets; and enforcing regulations.
Aiming Zhou, ADB, reviewed: how the REC framework fits together with other policies; the benefits of using RECs; and what is driving their use. He explained the development of policies within ADB as well as current REC initiatives such as a case study from Sri Lanka.
Balawant Joshi, ABPS Infrastructure Advisory, recounted recent developments in India within the emerging REC market, identifying challenges due to lack of: visibility in ceiling and floor prices; understanding of REC mechanisms and definitions of technology; and buyers in the market. He opined however, that it is possible to overcome these barriers and achieve a robust market.
Anoop Singh, Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, shared further insights of India’s experience engaging in the REC market. He clarified that the market is a promising option but its success hinges on quality of design and the influence of regulation and policy.
INNOVATIVE BUSINESS MODELS TRACK
Approaches to Deal Facilitation and Technology Development for Clean Energy Projects: This session took place on Wednesday, and was chaired by Jun Tian, ADB. Irman Boyle, USAID ECO-Asia Clean Development and Climate Program, described Climate Technology Initiative’s Private Financing Advisory Network’s (CTI PFAN) work in Indonesia, acting as the “missing middle,” fostering relationships between project entrepreneurs and financiers by engaging project developers via competitions to provide pro bono mentoring. Responding to a question from the audience, another representative of CTI PFAN said they are increasing support to financial institutions in project assessment and due diligence training rather than project developers, as it is often difficult to find suitable developers.
Hong Miao, USAID ECO-Asia Clean Development and Climate Program, shared lessons learned from matching entrepreneurs with investors for CTI PFAN projects in China. She shared how workshops and forums build trust and credibility, attract new business, and strengthen core membership and the overall network.
Leong Kin Mun, EU-Malaysia Biomass Sustainable Production Initiative, presented successful mechanisms for linking EU companies to SMEs in Malaysia by attracting stakeholders to nurture projects such as biomass production, fuel switching CDM projects, and carbon credit trading. She indicated that a successful synergy is developing, which supports and facilitates relationships between industry, investors and government officials.
New Business Models and Policy Drivers: This panel took place on Wednesday afternoon and was chaired by Gil-Hong Kim, ADB. Gabinete Reyes Redentor, Pepsi-Cola Products Philippines, described Pepsi’s Project Power Play, which set up biomass power plants at all Pepsi plants in the Philippines through ESCOs, that install, maintain and run the facilities at no cost to Pepsi, which then buys the power produced at a reduced rate. He said this had led to 25 percent savings in energy costs at their largest plant.
Sridhar Samudrala, Mukund Dairy Farm, described how his farm’s biogas production facility in India is used to power his pasteurization plant, which had previously been powered by unsustainably harvested local wood. He said the costs for the change were recouped in less than two years.
Peter Hayes, ADB, and Mark Allington, IFC International, presented on ADB GeoExplorer, an online geographic information systems (GIS) tool for wind and solar energy resource mapping in 10 developing countries in Central West Asia. They said it allows investors to assess energy yield, and scale of investment needed, and to compare relative economic viability based on a range of detailed characteristics of geography, habitat, weather, and infrastructure policy.
Aiming Zhou, ADB, shared a business model used to build a rooftop solar system based on SunEdison’s work. The model requires no upfront cost due to a long-term power purchase agreement, supports local companies in securing non-recourse loan financing, and helps match solar systems to buildings’ energy load profiles.
Renewable Energy: Developing Large-Scale Projects: This session took place on Thursday morning and was chaired by Yue-Lang Feng, ADB. Matthew Wood, White & Case LLP, shared a case study from a concentrated solar power project in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE), explaining how large-scale renewable energy projects benefit from well-structured contractual frameworks, strong government support and engagement with experienced and reputable sponsors.
Philip Napier-Moore, Mott MacDonald, suggested methods to improve project success, including: providing contract templates to facilitate clarity on roles and responsibilities; and calibrating software and technology to regional contexts to improve forecasting and delivery of energy outputs.
Emmanuel Guyot, Conergy Renewable Energy Singapore, relayed experiences from developing a solar park in Thailand, recalling that solar technology retains the same energy yield over 20 years, making it necessary to optimize efficiencies and invest in high-quality equipment.
Bernhard Raninger, German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ), presented lessons learned from large-scale biogas production in China, including that capacity building and training to improve technical and operational standards during implementation, as well as throughout the lifespan of the project, were integral to success.
The Role of the Private Sector in Delivering Innovation for Clean Energy: This session took place on Thursday afternoon and was chaired by Kala Mulqueeny, ADB. Neric Acosta, Council for Asian Liberals, pointed towards the need to spur innovation not only in technology but in policy to enable private sector solutions as well. John Haffner, Bridge Renewable Technologies, shared his company’s experience of working with partners in tropical countries to commercialize gasification technologies. He said although ample opportunities exist for bottom-up approaches to succeed on their own, they must be combined with top-down regulation to deliver global scale transformations.
Tim Jarvis, Arup and the Australia Climate Civics Institute, argued that regulation does not create solutions directly but must rather establish market signals needed for innovation to take hold.
Unmesh Brahme, SustainabilityCXO Partners Worldwide and India Climate Civics Institute, called for the democratization of electrical power to the rural poor. Rather than bringing top-down systems for the poor, he advocated approaches that ensure electrification benefits local livelihoods.
Vince Pérez, WWF International and former Energy Minister, Philippines, presented numerous clean energy projects sponsored by WWF in partnership with private sector and government actors in Southeast Asia to demonstrate civil society’s underappreciated capacity to foster innovation.
Business Models for Sustainability: This session took place on Friday morning and was chaired by Retno Setianingsih, USAID Indonesia. Sununtar Setboonsarng, ADB, presented on biofuels in the Greater Mekong Subregion. She announced that, focusing on small-scale farmers’ cultivation of jatropha for biodiesel and other products, ADB will soon launch a US$ 4.6 million regional capacity building program to improve regional cooperation in bioenergy, conduct pilot-testing of biomass, enhance capacity for jatropha use, and develop knowledge products. Furthermore, she said a US$ 80 million loan facility for biofuels is in the pipeline for 2013. She commented that testing, research and new practices to improve productivity and soil condition had improved outcomes for rural people growing jatropha.
Ellen May Zanoria, Gold Standard Foundation, presented her organization’s work in the benchmarking of carbon reduction products for the compliance and voluntary carbon markets, using criteria including renewable energy or end-use energy efficiency benefits, co-benefits, two-step stakeholder involvement in design and feedback, and ongoing monitoring. She cited examples of Gold Standard projects, including rural lighting and heating, solar cookers and enhanced woodstoves. Regarding scaling-up of pilots, she described the bundling of projects to achieve critical mass, noting that ongoing management and maintenance is needed to ensure that programs continue to deliver over 10 to 15 years. In response to concern about the high transaction costs, she described the Gold Standard’s scheme for micro-scale projects allowing for simpler verification and validation processes.
Pasha Ponomarev, Accenture, identified market barriers to energy efficiency including existing policies, unavailability of information and local expertise, uncertainty over contract terms and payback period, and transaction costs. Noting the challenge of realizing profits, he recommended focusing on project development through careful assessment and stakeholder education on how to get returns from projects; and replicable transaction models with sector-specific products that are widely available and supported by public finance. He noted that best-practice models for ESCOs should be disseminated in order to avoid problems of poor delivery that could damage the efficiency sector, recalling that ESCOs in the US had been plagued by lawsuits following deregulation and privatization in the 1990s.
ENERGY FOR ALL TRACK
Towards Sustainable Energy for All: This session took place on Wednesday afternoon and was chaired by Bart Édes, ADB. Mohamed El-Ashry, REN21 and UN Foundation, lamented that in many cases wasteful use practices hinder broad energy provision in developing countries, urging participants to help raise awareness about energy poverty. He said the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (also known as Rio+20) and the UN Year for Sustainable Energy for All in 2012 must be used to spur an economically, socially and environmentally sustainable energy revolution.
Edwin Khew, IUT Global and Sustainable Energy Association of Singapore, called for financial models to support provisioning and servicing technology.
Rajan Velumail, UN Development Programme (UNDP), said energy access must be linked with poverty reduction.
Edita Bueno, National Electrification Administration, Philippines, said her government views initial rural electrification efforts as an infrastructure project for which the government is responsible.
Johane Meagher, Global Sustainable Electricity Partnership (e8), described a global survey on best practices for public-private partnerships, saying that e8 will soon announce a cooperative project with ADB on energy poverty.
Responding to a question by Chair Édes on barriers to overcoming energy poverty: Velumail stressed affordability of technologies and sustainability of projects after initial funding ends; El-Ashry said high-level government commitment is still generally lacking, but where it exists, great progress has been made; Bueno added government roadmaps and concrete planning are most important; Meagher lamented that clear and facilitative long-term energy policies are often lacking; and Khew reiterated the importance of training programmes on the ground.
On shared responsibility for innovation and renewables adoption, panelists agreed that predictable subsidies matching long investment payback periods are needed. Khew remarked that the poor already pay high prices for privately generated electricity and emphasized that the most urgent needs are for household-managed systems.
Business Innovations to Enable Energy for All – The Role of Large Companies: This session took place on Thursday and was chaired by Matthew Lynch, World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) who introduced WBCSD’s Access to Energy Initiative.
Peeush Kumar Bishnoi, Siemens AG India, declared that a market-driven, rather than policy-driven environment, is key to overcoming energy access and energy poverty challenges. He said that: innovative financing connects revenue models to customers; innovative technology connects customers to technology options; and policy currently connects revenue models to technology options, but that the market should do this. With good business models, he said, scaling-up is not an issue.
Philippe Reveilhac, Schneider Electric Philippines, introduced Schneider’s non-profit BipBop programme, which provides low-cost off-grid energy to bottom-of-pyramid customers, the payments for which recoup Schneider’s investment costs. Reveilhac said innovation needs to be based on listening and anticipating customer wants and needs, and that victory at the bottom of the pyramid will be collective.
Harry Verhaar, Philips Lighting, urged changing current linear models of production, consumption and disposal to circular models based on resource efficiency and focus on quality of life. Accordingly, he said, energy efficiency and renewables must be about prosperity development, not only problem solving. On scaling-up, he said a shift in narrative is needed that will engage fast-acting customers and voters, rather than slow-moving politics.
Earning Profit through Powering the Poor – Learning from Social Entrepreneurs: This session took place on Thursday and was chaired by Dirk Münch, E+Co. Bart Édes, ADB, introduced ideas on how social enterprise can expand access to energy for poor and vulnerable populations, referencing statistics that point to large amounts of available funding for social enterprises.
Cécile Pompeï, Barefoot Power, outlined the role her company plays in providing affordable solutions to the poor: manufacturing a range of products to support consumers climbing the “energy ladder”; facilitating business development partnerships and subsidiaries; and becoming investors.
Jeroen Verschelling, Kamworks, recounted how his company, driven by the demand of 75 percent of Cambodians being off-grid, set out to provide affordable solar solutions to the poor, including a vision to bring product assembly to Cambodia.
Julius Alip, Center for Agriculture and Rural Development (CARD), presented the role of his organization in providing microfinance and business development services, focusing on capacity building as insurance for success.
The ensuing discussion centered on challenges in: scaling-up; maintaining products/systems and providing training; linking investors with social entrepreneurs; marketing products as “aspirational” and competing with trendier items such as cell phones; and improving productivity through product offerings.
Institutional Models for Transforming Rural Energy Access Markets: This session, on Thursday, opened with Chair Frank van der Vleuten, ETC Energy, stressing the importance of transforming institutions.
Win van Nes, Netherlands Development Organisation (SNV), described household biogas units’ operation, illustrated their benefits, and stressed the importance of quality control by trained local actors.
Islam Sharif, Infrastructure Development Company Limited (IDCO), shared how his company provides lighting to five million people in Bangladesh, thereby reducing dependency on kerosene, creating jobs, and reducing carbon emissions. Sharif said having efficient and able partners, a firm commercial basis, constant review of technologies, and microfinance experience are key to moving from pilot projects to sustainable businesses.
Maaike Göbel, Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP), explained her organization’s efforts to help achieve the MDGs by supporting partnerships through the Sustainable Energy Industry Association of the Pacific Islands (SEIAPI). She said success depends on local knowledge and working with in-country champions.
Pradygdhi Jati, People Centered Economic and Business Institute (IBEKA), recounted experiences with rural micro hydro, indicating challenges associated with national grids, including: blackouts; expensive installation; installation delays; and poor customer service.
Elizabeth Muguti, African Development Bank (AfDB), highlighted low electrification rates and constraints on generation, transmission and distribution in Africa. She said the AfDB wants to bundle large-scale projects with small-scale, socially oriented endeavors, but that communication with borrowing governments must be improved to scale-up these efforts.
Clean Energy Solutions for the Poor: This session took place Friday morning with Rehan Kausar, ADB, serving as chair.
Prakash Ghimre, SNV, and Zhang Ming, China Association of Rural Energy Industry (CAREI), presented opportunities for expanding access to domestic biogas plants for cooking in rural Asia. They estimated potential cost reductions of 20-25 percent, and said these improvements could increase Asian market penetration from 44 million to over 100 million units.
Lyndon Frearson, CAT Projects, described the Bushlight India Model for delivering reliable electricity to remote villages. He clarified that durable solutions are neither one-size fits all, nor limited to any particular technology. Rather, he stressed, rural electrification should tackle the three-fold structural barriers of operation and maintenance, technology and design, and community planning. Frearson stated that rural electrification could achieve the in-country capacity to deliver lasting success by linking these structural challenges to the larger context of finance, supply chains, and governance.
Rimtaig Lee, Korea Wind Energy Industry Association, said there were significant opportunities to expand small wind energy systems to rural Asia. Lee described the technical aspects of small wind, which his organization is aiming to deploy in demonstration projects in two to three target countries at costs as low as US$ 4 per watt.
Fazley Rabbi, Grameen Shakti, described his organization’s work with the Solar Home System, a countrywide effort to deploy PV solar in Bangladesh. He said this initiative creates locally-based technology centers for the purpose of training and employing women to install and repair solar installations. He highlighted that the organization has used micro-credit to install a total capacity of 31.5 megawatts of Solar PV in Bangladesh, and are adding 50,000 new customers each month, boosting labor productivity and local employment.
In the discussion, Kehar summarized the central lesson across the presentations as being that significant opportunities for scaling-up and reducing the costs of rural electrification exist by channeling projects through the non-profit sector.
On Friday morning, following the closing plenary, Jennifer Morgan, WRI, proposed three “game-changing ideas” to the ADB for a clean economy in Asia: adopting International Energy Agency guidelines for rapidly increasing energy capacity in renewables and energy efficiency measures; providing financing for the application of feed-in tariffs to more and larger projects; and developing transparent processes for allocating the costs of renewable energy while implementing benefit sharing with communities who own the land and water resources.
Alfred Nakatsuma, USAID Indonesia, said he was optimistic that the importance of clean energy in Asia will increase due to steady economic growth, and stressed the importance of the private sector in the development and use of clean energy.
Ursula Schafer-Preuss, ADB, cautioned that sustainable development and sustainable energy must go hand-in-hand. Recounting Amory Lovins’ call to “reinvent fire,” she stressed that new sources of “fire” must be within reach of the poor, and emphasized that infrastructure must not be created for its own sake, but for the inclusive and sustainable society we hope to create.
Aiming Zhou, ADB, closed the Forum at 12:41pm.
Third Africa Carbon Forum: The Africa Carbon Forum is a trade fair and knowledge-sharing platform for carbon investments in Africa, organized by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the UNEP Risoe Centre, the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA), the UN Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the World Bank and the AfDB. It will include matchmaking and deal facilitation sessions that will allow potential Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) project developers to showcase their projects to interested parties, including investors and carbon buyers. dates: 4-6 July 2011 location: Marrakesh (Marrakech), Morocco contact: Miriam Hinostroza email: firstname.lastname@example.org www: http://africacarbonforum.com/2011/english/index.htm
High-Level Africa Consultative Forum on Renewable Energy: The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) is convening a meeting to discuss specific implementation challenges facing Africa with respect to renewable energy technologies, as well as practical approaches to generate the critical policy and technical information, advice and capacity that are required to support the extensive deployment of renewable energy in Africa. dates: 8-9 July 2011 location: Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE) contact: Mahenau Agha phone: +971-241-79-062 email: email@example.com www: http://www.irena.org/menu/index.aspx?mnu=Subcat&PriMenuID=30&CatID=79&SubcatID=105
International Conference on Promoting Eco-Innovation: The conference will be an integrated policy-oriented event, and will address several thematic areas of the programme of work of the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Committee on Economic Cooperation and Integration. It will also seek synergies with UNECE activities in sustainable energy and environmental policy. dates: 11-13 July 2011 location: Tel Aviv (Tel Aviv), Israel contact: UNECE phone: +41-0-22 917 44 44 fax: +41-0-22 917 05 05 email: firstname.lastname@example.org www: http://unece.org/ceci/documents/2011/icp/conf_icp11.html
Sustainable Energy Finance Summer Academy: This course is intended to provide decision-makers and project developers with a comprehensive framework on renewable energy and energy efficiency financing projects. dates: 17-22 July 2011 location: Frankfurt (Hessen), Germany phone: +49-069-1540-08692 fax: +49-069-1540-084692 email: email@example.com www: http://www.frankfurt-school.de/content/en
Financing Sustainable Electrification Latin America Dialogues: This Dialogue aims to encourage debate and share perspectives and experiences in investment policies and regulatory frameworks for electricity generation projects with low-carbon emissions. dates: 22-24 August 2011 venue: Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) Headquarters location: Santiago, Chile contact: Federico Bernardelli phone: +56-2-210-2182 email: firstname.lastname@example.org www: http://www.eclac.org/cgi-bin/getProd.asp?xml=/noticias/calendarioActividades/5/42795/P42795.xml&xsl=/tpl-i/p43f.xsl&base=/tpl/blanco.xslt
Quantifying and Managing Land Use Impacts of Bioenergy: Jointly organized by IEA Bioenergy and the Brazilian Bioethanol Science and Technology Laboratory (CBTE), this workshop will look at methods for quantifying direct and indirect land use change, recognizing further land use impacts of bioenergy such as in greenhouse gas accounting and renewables programs, and finally how to minimize the lands use impacts of bioenergy. dates: 19-21 September 2011 venue: University of Campinas location: Campinas (Sao Paulo), Brazil contact: Martin Junginger email: email@example.com www: http://www.bioenergytrade.org/upcomingactivities/qm-land-use-impacts-of-bioenergy.html
Caribbean Renewable Energy Forum 2011: This annual event, co-sponsored by the Inter-American Development Bank, CARICOM, and the Organization of American States, will look at policy and regulatory issues and the forces driving finance and investment in renewable energy sources in the Caribbean context, and the scope for a regional approach. dates: 12-14 October 2011 location: Bridgetown, Barbados contact: Matthew Perks phone: +1-845-440-7800 email: firstname.lastname@example.org www: http://www.caribbeanenergyforum.com
Third Meeting of the Group of Experts on Global Energy Efficiency 21 (GEE21): The UNECE Group of Experts will continue work on the Global Strategy for Energy Efficiency Market Formation. dates: 17-18 October 2011 location: Geneva, Switzerland contact: Viktor Badaker, Project Manager GEE21 email: email@example.com www: http://www.unece.org/energy/welcome/Calendar_Meeting.html
International Year for Sustainable Energy for All: In December 2010, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming 2012 as the “International Year for Sustainable Energy for All” (Resolution 65/151), aimed at creating “an enabling environment for the promotion and use of new and renewable energy technologies, including measures to improve access to such technologies.” date: year-round location: worldwide www: http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/65/436
Fifth World Future Energy Summit 2012: The fifth edition of the World Future Energy Summit (WFES) will promote innovation and investment opportunities surrounding alternative energy, clean technology and environment. dates: 16-19 January 2012 location: Abu Dhabi, UAE contact: WFES Director Ara Fernezian phone: +971-2-4446113 fax: +971-2-4443768 email:firstname.lastname@example.org: http://www.worldfutureenergysummit.com
Second Session of the IRENA Assembly: The second IRENA Assembly is scheduled to take place in January 2012. dates: 14-15 January 2012 location: Abu Dhabi, UAE contact: Adnan Amin, Executive Director phone: +971-2-4179001 email:email@example.com: http://www.irena.org