The COVID-19 pandemic spurred a global cessation of travel, manufacturing, and countless economic activities. This calls for clean energy innovations with immediate responses to the changes and, at the same time, to stimulate innovation for accelerating future sustainable energy transition.
While dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, the issue of how to combine economic stimulus recovery with green energy transition becomes an important topic for sustainable development in the post COVID-19 era. Among various actions, green recovery plans and carbon neutrality targets are given high priority.
In order to have a better understanding of COVID-19's impacts on the energy transition, it is important to investigate the changes during the pandemic and post COVID-19 in terms of energy demands (in different sectors and different countries), energy mix (including renewable energy penetration), energy load profile (over different days of the week and different hours of the day), emissions and other aspects.
Presentations in this session provided in-depth analyses of technical roadmap, including NDC goals, specific new technologies, implementation plan, etc., described their role in a city level, national or regional context, and demonstrate how they contribute to achievement of NDC goals.
This session included a discussion of the technology developments in renewables and energy efficiency, electrification, and other sectors, and approaches for setting the more ambitious targets in energy roadmaps with regulatory changes needed for the NDCs. Speakers presented specific low carbon transition cases through sharing innovative technology, advanced solution, business model and regulatory, etc.
This session reviewed policies and plans for DMC’s relevance to NDC implementation, thereby providing the space for relevant stakeholders to come together, discuss, and increase overall awareness on climate change-related issues and NDC implementation specifically.
Aside from the Track Sessions, ACEF 2021 also featured Spotlight Sessions and Special Sessions on Regional Topics.
Spotlight Sessions were sessions covering innovative ideas and approaches in clean energy.
Special Sessions on Regional Topics were sessions organized by ADB’s Regional Departments.
Track 2 considered medium-term issues faced by ADB’s DMCs. The pandemic disruption has provided a window of opportunity to reset energy sector priorities and to rethink technology, finance, and policy in light of cross-sectoral issues and needs. While technological innovations and markets have to be assessed under the new normal scenario, new priorities must consider the urgency of accelerating the transition to a low-carbon energy system.
Track 1. NDC Roadmaps: Tracing Future Paths with Technology Roadmaps for Countries’ Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs)
Track 1 considered long-term issues faced by ADB’s DMCs. The ability to balance economic growth, poverty reduction, and tackle climate change—known as the Energy Trilemma—will require innovative technologies and business models. To better equip the DMCs in achieving their NDC targets, the Track has explored issues and strategies for confronting the energy transition.
Description: The short-term changes to business operations caused by COVID-19 have gotten people thinking about other changes in the way they will do business going forward. In the areas of energy and environment, this is especially so. The panelists described the direct impacts of COVID-19 in their businesses and shared their thoughts on wider trends and impacts for the medium term.
Description: This session included presentations on policy challenges and approaches for dealing with the impact of COVID-19 on the energy sector. The presentations presented an analysis of impacts of, and policy responses to, COVID-19 in the energy sectors of Southeast Asia, China, and Pakistan.
Description: This session included descriptions of the impacts of COVID-19 on different parts of the energy sector including utility power and decentralized energy systems, as well as new models for delivered technical assistance more effectively.
Moderator: Jerry Yan, Director of Future Energy Profile, Royal Institute of Technology (KTH)
Co-Moderator: Yongping Zhai, Energy Sector Chief, Asian Development Bank (ADB)
Scene-Setter Talk: Kelly Hewitt, Principal Planning and Coordination Specialist, Asian Development Bank (ADB)
Sustainable Biofuel Perspectives, Opportunities and Challenges after the Pandemic
Presenter: David Chiaramonti, Professor, President of Renewable Energy Consortium for R&D Polytechnic of Turin
Global Opportunities through the IEA Bioenergy Technology Collaboration Programme
Presenter: Jim Spaeth, Program Manager, Bioenergy Technologies Office US Department of Energy
This presentation highlighted key potential areas for collaboration in light of the world changing pandemic.