What's Trending in the Clean Energy Space?

This year, the Asia Clean Energy Forum (ACEF) has been designed around ADB’s operational priorities of Strategy 2030. We will be talking about a lot more than electricity.

As one of the Co-chairs of Thematic Track 5 on Clean Energy Trends and Directions, I am looking forward to four interesting sessions on what is new and exciting in the clean energy business. This Track will provide a broad spectrum of presentations illustrating innovation and new technologies covering the broader forest of sustainability rather than the single tree of climate change. While we are trying to do forecasting, we will certainly hear some interesting observations on a wide variety of energy applications that bode well for the planet’s future health. Let’s take a look at what you can expect in this track!

Session 5.1: Novel PV Applications and Reaching Grid Parity

Tuesday 18 June 2:00 – 3:30 pm

Solar energy is by far the largest energy resource available on earth, much larger than all other renewable and non-renewable resources combined. Is this news? Not really. But what is indeed interesting is to know is the innovative ways we are harnessing and using solar energy. This session will include presentations on the history of solar development in China, commercial deployment of marine floating solar, blockchain applications to support PV investment and grid integration, prospects for large-scale solar in southeast Asia, and the broader universe of solar energy applications aside from electricity. My co-chair Jerry Yan will be chairing this session.

Session 5.2: Ocean Energy in the 21st Century

Tuesday 18 June 2:00 – 3:30 pm

ADB recently announced an ocean health initiative with an initial focus on addressing plastics and other pollution. Development of ocean energy resources is attractive in part because of the potential scalability and options for integrating clean ocean energy with other activities to promote ocean health. This session will start with a discussion of opportunities to convert offshore oil and gas structures into artificial reefs and will include a presentation on recent experience with solar-powered boats for ecotourism. Other ocean energy prospects include floating solar for the high seas, instream tidal energy conversion, and ocean thermal energy conversion. I am honored to chairing this session.

Session 5.3: Bioenergy and Waste-to-Energy

Thursday 20 June 9:00 – 10:30 pm

With increased urbanization and rural development, waste generation and agriculture biomass will continue to increase at exponential rates. Sustainable urban development, and improving the health of coastal zone ecosystems, will not be possible without aggressive deployment of advanced waste to energy systems. Likewise, rural development can not be sustainable without expansion of improved biomass management systems. Topics to be covered in this session include: conversion of marine debris to power and clean water, advanced conversion of rice straw to biogas, community-based hybrid renewable energy systems, and urban waste to energy. We are fortunate to have ADB’s waste to energy specialist, Stephen Peters, to chair this session.

Session 5.4: Renewable Heating, Cooling, and Storage

Thursday 20 June 11:00 – 12:30 pm

Nearly half of global final energy consumption is used for heating and cooling applications, including industrial processes. Heating and cooling applications are the largest area for potential growth of renewable energy, mostly in forms other than electricity. Similarly, there is a need to leverage energy storage technologies batteries for electric vehicles. This session includes presentations on powering existing thermal plants with renewable energy (addressing the prospect of potential stranded assets), repurposing batteries for second life applications, hybrid renewables and hydrogen for “24/7” supply, advanced technology to reduce geothermal drilling risks, and integrated wind and compressed air energy storage. Nicholas Wagner of IRENA will set the scene, and the session will be moderated by Kapila Perera, Vice Chancellor of the University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka.

As you can see, we have some interesting topics lined up for you. Do mark your calendars for the session tracks and gear up for some stimulating discussions. We look forward to seeing you!

Dan Millison
Clean Energy Trends and Directions Track Co-Chair,
Asia Clean Energy Forum