The agriculture is a major energy consumer in Asia. However, the current pattern of energy use is both unsustainable, owing to high dependence on fossil fuels and inefficient biomass use, and insufficient, due to poor access to energy in many developing countries where agriculture is the main source of livelihood.

From primary production, to processing and storage, to cooking, access to affordable and sustainable energy is essential to raising productivity and incomes, cutting food losses, enhancing climate resilience for farmers and agri-enterprises, and improving cooking conditions. Renewable energy solutions represent a crucial opportunity to meet these energy needs with growing evidence of their use for various applications, including water pumping, processing, cold storage and clean cooking. However, scaling-up their use requires closer partnerships between sectors and a water-energy-food nexus thinking to ensure sustainability. Cross-sector policy making, tailored financing schemes, innovations in appliances, access to market measures and skills development are crucial aspects to accelerate renewables adoption in agriculture.

Various programmes and initiatives across Asia have been implemented focused on the links between energy and agriculture, and offer valuable insights into benefits on offer for multiple Sustainable Development Goals as well as into lessons learnt to inform future policy and programme design. To capture these lessons, IRENA, with the support of local partners, has developed the ‘Renewable energy for agriculture: Insights from Southeast Asia’ analysis which looks closely at the trends in energy use in the agriculture sector in the region and discusses the opportunity offered by renewables highlighting case studies including from Cambodia, the Philippines, Viet Nam and Indonesia. The case studies provide quantitative evidence on the benefits of renewables in agriculture and offer practical lessons for policy, financing and delivery model design. IRENA has also been working closely with the UN FAO with the launch of a joint report at COP 26 and a commitment at the UN High Level Dialogue on Energy to collaborate on scaling-up renewables use in agri-food chains.

The side-event, co-organized by IRENA and UN FAO, will serve as a crucial platform to discuss the important energy-agriculture linkages and on renewables-based approaches to jointly advance sectoral development goals aligned with climate mitigation and adaptation objectives. The side-event will convene practitioners and policy makers who are leading existing programmes to share their experiences and lessons learnt, and, through dialogue, highlight key recommendations on how renewable energy solutions can be scaled-up in the agriculture sector in support of livelihoods while ensuring sustainability and maximizing socio-economic benefits. The theme of the side-event resonates well with one of the main pillars of the Asia Clean Energy Forum on ‘Integrated approaches for cross-sectoral benefits’ while also touching upon the other three.


The side-event will be organized with the following main objectives in mind:

  1. Launch and present insights from IRENA analysis on ‘Renewable energy for agriculture: Insights from Southeast Asia’ offering quantitative evidence on impacts of renewables applications in the agriculture sector;
  2. Showcase key lessons learnt from existing programmes and initiatives in the region led by governments and development partners related to renewables use in agriculture;
  3. Deliberate and discuss solutions needed to scale-up investments in such applications and identify actions to be undertaken by whom;
  4. Raise awareness of the importance of a cross-sector approach to the energy transition and the benefits it offers for both development and climate goals; and
  5. Facilitate partnerships development through the ACEF platform and catalyze long-term actions through, for instance, the IRENA-FAO Energy Compact.


Time (Manila) Activities
08:00 - 08:10 p.m. High-Level Opening Remarks

  • Zitouni Ould-Dada, Deputy Director, Climate and Environment Division, FAO
  • Ute Collier, Deputy Director, Knowledge Policy and Finance Centre, IRENA
08:10 - 08:25 p.m. Scene-setting presentation by IRENA and FAO

  • Launch of IRENA study on ‘Renewable energy for agriculture: Insights from Southeast Asia – a focus on heating/cooling needs’ – Divyam Nagpal, Programme Officer - Energy Access, IRENA
  • Findings from FAO programmes in Asia, including India and Uzbekistan – Irini Maltsoglou, Deputy Energy Team Leader, Climate and Environment Division, FAO
08:25 - 09:15 p.m. Moderated panel discussion

Moderator: Olivier Dubois, Leader Energy Programme, FAO


  • Romeo Montenegro, Deputy Executive Director, Mindanao Development Authority, The Philippines
  • Margarita Manzo, Investment Director – Asia, SunFunder Cambodia
  • Stewart Craine, Managing Director, Village Infrastructure Angel
  • Avishek Malla, Energy Specialist, ICIMOD
  • Wim Van Nes, Global Technical Advisor Energy, SNV, Netherlands Development Organisation
09:15 - 09:30 p.m. Audience Q&A and Closing Remarks


About the Organizer

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) is an intergovernmental organisation that supports countries in their transition to a sustainable energy future, and serves as the principal platform for international cooperation, a centre of excellence, and a repository of policy, technology, resource and financial knowledge on renewable energy. IRENA promotes the widespread adoption and sustainable use of all forms of renewable energy, including bioenergy, geothermal, hydropower, ocean, solar and wind energy in the pursuit of sustainable development, energy access, energy security and low-carbon economic growth and prosperity.

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger. FAO’s goal is to achieve food security for all and make sure that people have regular access to enough high-quality food to lead active, healthy lives. With 195 members - 194 countries and the European Union, FAO works in over 130 countries worldwide.

Point of Contact

Divyam Nagpal