ADB’s Developing Member Countries (DMCs) in South Asia, other regions, are now witnessing a paradigm shift in the power distribution sector, which is being driven by increased viability of distributed Renewable Energy (RE) sources, plans for proliferation of new electricity loads like Electric Vehicles (EVs) and increasing consumer centricity of utilities driven by enablement of two-way power flows. Incorporating these transformations not only have operational and financial implications but also require structural changes in order to sustain the transition. DMCs across the region have identified distribution grid upgrades and automation as key solutions and are committing themselves in implementing these initiatives at a national-scale through both operational and structural measures.

Some of the identified and currently implemented measures across the region include:

  • Large scale roll-out of Advanced Metering Infrastructure and focus on implementation of smart infrastructure;
  • Schemes and programs for enabling financial and operation turnaround of utilities;
  • Liberalization of electricity retail markets and mechanisms for increasing private sector participation in electricity distribution; and
  • Programs and incentives for accelerating implementation of DERs and grid-connected RE.

While few of the utilities across the region have advanced in their grid modernization maturity curve, most are still in the early stages of their transition towards a clean and smart energy future and are seeking viable and innovative solutions to accelerate on this path. Therefore, in this context, planning and implementation experiences from different parts of the world (both developed and developing countries) could provide a great learning opportunity for utilities across the region to develop and implement new, holistic approaches to manage the electrical grid of the future and deliver cleaner, reliable, quality an affordable electricity for all.

ADB has also been financing, along with other development partners, various projects and programs in the region and it is important to look at the experiences of these initiatives and build on that while preparing future support to the DMCs. For this, partnership with the governments, electricity regulators, utilities, technology providers, private sector, research organizations, development partners, among others, is even more critical than before.


The main objective of this session to provide participants, particularly those from developing countries, an opportunity to gain insights on:

  • Distribution reform options for ensuring sector viability in the new energy paradigm including experience sharing;
  • Innovations and best practices for transforming utility to smart grids in areas of technology selection, business models and consumer;
  • engagement and participation schemes;
  • Power market design options and role of associated institutions; and
  • ADB’s efforts to support DMCs in digitalization of their utilities meeting changing landscape needs.

This would enable policy makers, utilities and participants to learn from the experiences of both developed and developing countries for efficient and viable operation of the power sector which is centric to customer needs. It will also foster regional cooperation, support networking and build business opportunities in the area of smart power distribution.


Time (Manila) Activities
02:00-02:10 p.m. Welcome and ADB’s activities on supporting electricity utilities in South Asia by Priyantha Wijayatunga, Director, South Asia Energy Division, ADB
02:10-03:00 p.m. Presentations and Panel Discussions

  • Reji Kumar Pillai, President, India Smart Grid Forum (ISGF), Chairman, Global Smart Energy Federation (GSEF), New Delhi, India
  • Presentation

  • Jorifa Khatun, Deputy Director (Executive Engineer), Directorate of System Planning, Bangladesh Power Development Board, Bangladesh
  • Presentation

  • Rohantha Abeysekera, Additional General Manager (Corporate Strategy), Ceylon Electricity Board, Sri Lanka
  • Presentation

  • Ram Dhital, Member, Electricity Regulatory Commission, Nepal
  • Presentation

03:00-03:20 p.m. Moderated Q&A
Moderator: Jiwan Acharya, Principal Energy Specialist, ADB
03:20-03:30 p.m. Closing by Julia Kennedy, Director (Acting), Indo-Pacific Office, USAID

About Organizers

Asian Development Bank ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members —49 from the region. Its main instruments for helping its developing member countries are policy dialogue, loans, equity investments, guarantees, grants, and technical assistance.

Point of Contact

Jiwan Acharya, ADB