Session 2.1: Economy-wide Energy Evolution

June 9th, 2020

Description: Thanks to improvements in technologies and distributed systems planning, people in every sector of the economy can now help deliver a sustainable energy future – from education, city planning, rural livelihoods, water systems, health sectors, and more. This session highlighted the breadth of new stakeholders deploying clean energy solutions across sectors. Presenters shared case studies and findings, including local communities’ economic development opportunities through the use of waste heat production at geothermal sites. This rural setting was juxtaposed with case studies of urban planning and design for zero energy districts and opportunities for diverse urban actors. Stretching the theme beyond direct energy generation and use, this session also explored progress in driving reductions in embedded energy through circular-economy approaches that can transform multiple sectors.

Moderator: Camilla Fenning, Director, South East Asia Climate and Energy Network and Programme Director, Prosperity Fund ASEAN Low Carbon Energy Programme, UK Government

Scene-Setter Talk: Atsumasa Sakai, Asian Development Bank (ADB)

Geothermal Direct Use
Presenter: Nursanty Elisabeth Banjarnahor, GDE

Beyond the Grid: Driving an Economy-wide Energy Transformation by Cities and Industry in Asia
Presenter: Brent Habig, VP International Programs, Institute for Sustainable Communities

Cities and industry play a pivotal role in driving a comprehensive energy transformation within Asian economies.  The session unpacked the energy transformation outside of the power sector, shared case studies from low-carbon cities in China and new business models that promote the energy transformation of manufacturing in India.

Net Zero and Near Net Zero Energy Districts – Case Studies from China, India, and the U.S.
Presenter: Richenda Van Leeuwen, Managing Director, Rocky Mountain Institute

While first-cost typically governs single building development, entire new districts are able to reach net zero or near-zero energy/emissions status through technology integration and design across multiple systems on a site. With project examples from China, India, and the United States, this session explored the technologies for efficiency, district energy systems, and ownership models that enable breakthrough energy performance. By helping to address urban health and local pollution, these new developments are creating vibrant communities, growing economies, and helping governments meet climate and pollution targets.


  • Gavin Allwright, Secretary-General, International Windship Association (IWSA)
  • Alexander Ablaza, Co-Chair, Asia-Pacific ESCO Industry Alliance