Track 2: Multi-sector Approaches to Clean Energy Development: Energy ++

February 20th, 2020

Since the approval of its Energy Policy 2009, about two-thirds of ADB’s energy investment operations have been in energy supply, including electricity generation, transmission and distribution, and fuel supply such as LNG export and import terminals, gas pipelines, and urban gas distribution systems. Overall, the majority of investment has been in electricity supply systems. Under ADB’s Strategy 2030, energy supply is an enabling activity for the 7 Operational Priorities that cut across ADB’s traditional sector silos. ADB’s energy-sector investments need to shift from an emphasis on energy supply to focus more on value-added activities behind and beyond the meter that meet the Operational Priorities. These could include food security, sustainable cities, poverty reduction, and gender empowerment.

Three broad end-use categories account for the vast majority of all global final energy consumption:

  1. heating (including industrial processes) accounts for nearly half (48%) of final consumption, and of this traditional biomass provides one-sixth (16%), modern renewables other than electricity provide 8.4%, and renewable electricity provides 1.9%;
  2. transport accounts for nearly one-third (32%) of final consumption, with 2.8% of this provided by biofuels and 0.3% from electricity; and
  3. electricity accounts for 20%, with one quarter (25%) of this from renewable resources.

ADB and its peer institutions have done a good job at decarbonizing electricity and are starting to make some progress in transport and heat. This session will highlight ADB’s experience in energy end uses in sustainable infrastructure, cleaner production, the circular economy and related activities required to facilitate the global energy transition. We welcome submissions for this track that support ADB’s Operational Priority to make cities more livable.

Session 2.1: Economy-wide Energy Evolution

To deliver a sustainable energy future, it will be essential to engage with stakeholders across the economy, beyond the energy sector, in order to shape the future of energy supply, demand, use, and capacity. Multiple economic sectors affect energy demand and continued to expanded energy access, while supporting the region’s transition to a low-carbon path of development using advanced technologies, new business models and other innovative designs.

This session will bring together regional experts and innovators, along with officials from ADB’s DMCs, to present recent experience developing sustainable energy with value additions from multiple sectors. Presentations can include case studies from education, policy, legal, and regulatory spheres to support the shift from an inefficient, linear extractive economy to a more efficient, cleaner, and inherently sustainable circular economy. Speakers may come from a variety of sectors, including education, law & regulation, energy services, and others, with priority placed on speakers from Asia and the Pacific.

Potential topics in this session could include:

  • Education and vocational/technical training for workforce readiness
  • Legal and regulatory reforms required for the energy transition: renewable energy, energy efficiency, energy storage, new technologies and business models, etc.
  • Energy planning for services other than electricity
  • Successes in energy efficiency and next-generation grid. This may include programs and policies that work to unlock artificial intelligence and automation, virtual power plants, or other approaches to provide affordable and reliable energy services.
  • Real solutions for clean energy materials and life-cycle management. This may include materials re-use for renewables or battery components, end-of-life management and disposal, successful models for hazardous waste management in DMCs, and eco-industrial parks.

Session 2.2: Solar Energy—It’s Not Just Electricity

Solar energy development in the last 10 years has been dominated by solar PV for electricity, with cost reductions accruing due to the inherent economies of scale in manufacturing. Consistent with ADB’s Strategy 2030, investment needs to shift to other sustainable, value-added end-uses, including solar-powered water supply (desalination, and water from air); digital precision agriculture for food security (climate-proof greenhouses, urban vertical farms); concentrating solar power for heat applications (industrial heat and steam, district heating); solar energy applications in the health sector; and solar-powered air-conditioning and space cooling; and power to gas.

Potential topics in this session could include:

  • Climate-smart agriculture using water from solar powered desalination
  • Concentrating solar thermal systems for industrial applications
  • Solar + hydrogen for 24/7 electricity services
  • Solar irrigation and solar ice production
  • ADB’s floating solar experience and portfolio
  • Solar energy applications in the health sector

Session 2.3: Renewable Energy Services for Livelihoods

Although solar energy is the single largest source of energy available to planet earth, the transition from fossil fuels (coal, oil and gas) requires solar energy and energy carriers (like hydrogen), and it requires harnessing other renewable resources. Traditional energy planning has emphasized going from fossil fuels to applications for consumers, with technologies applied as appropriate. Under Strategy 2030 ADB needs to work from applications (consumers) back to available resources with appropriate technologies. This means that ADB has to help consumers develop value-added end uses for the last 10 feet of the last mile.

Potential topics in this session could include:

  • Regenerative ocean biomass energy
  • Pico- and micro-hydropower for high-value agriculture
  • Experience with hydro, solar, and wind for sustainable village development
  • Beneficial use of geothermal waste heat for community livelihood support
  • Refrigeration/cold chain services for expanding access to fisheries industries

Session 2.4: Air Quality Improvement Program in the Greater Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Region

It is possible for ADB to support multiple Operational Priorities of its Strategy 2030 with a multi-year, multi-sector investment program, and the air quality improvement program in the greater Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei (BTH) region is perhaps the best such example in ADB’s portfolio today. The People’s Republic of China (PRC) has been suffering from severe air pollution as a result of decades of rapid economic development and heavy dependence on coal, especially in the greater BTH region. ADB is participating in the government initiatives to address air pollution through the BTH program using various financing instruments, lending modalities, and a number of technical assistance (TA) projects to support sustainable infrastructure and cleaner production in order to reduce air pollution from fossil fuel use. The BTH program is based on air quality management driven by public health concerns. It targets sustainable infrastructure (e.g., cleaner transport, geothermal district heating), industrial cleaner production (energy efficiency improvement, cogeneration, industrial waste heat recovery and utilization), biomass and agricultural waste-to-energy, etc. This session will discuss experience from the BTH program, including diversification of financing tools, waste to energy technologies and approaches, clean heating and cooling, and green transportation.

Potential topics in this session could include:

  • Tailored financial services to support green and sustainable development
  • Rural waste-to-energy: biochar-based compound fertilizer for green agriculture and poverty reduction
  • Switch from coal to clean energy in rural households: benefits for air quality
  • Air pollutant reduction from the iron and steel Industry in Hebei Province
  • Energy efficiency improvement and potential in the cooling sector: a case study from Zhejiang Province

Session 2.5: Supporting Upper Middle Income Countries with Multisectoral Approach

Session 4 showed how an issue unique to Upper Middle Income Countries (UMICs) (i.e. air quality problems), has been addressed with a clean energy deployment initiative. This session will delve into a number of other challenging issues that UMICs face, and which can be addressed by international financiers such as ADB. The list of such challenges includes global public goods such as air and water pollution; the widening gap between urban and rural areas; an ageing population; and commitments to the international community, such as climate change. As an example, ADB’s project pipeline in the People’s Republic of China includes initiatives such as rural vitalization, disaster prevention, and ecologically-friendly growth. These challenges are beyond the traditional sector-based approach, and they will require innovative and multisectoral strategies. The session will draw on the experience and lessons learned by ADB and other development partners and experts using an integrated, multi-sectoral approach, to help UMICs to design more effective development projects and investment strategies.