Thematic Tracks

The core of ACEF 2024 week will be the four (4) Thematic Tracks, each of which will cover an important aspect of the clean energy transition across Asia and the Pacific.

Thematic Track 1: Tripling Renewable Energy Capacity by 2030

The renewable energy race is speeding up, particularly in the power sector. There is increasing demand for renewable energy to be the fuel source of choice for all sectors and all uses. At the 28th Conference of Parties to the Paris Agreement (COP28) in December 2023, approximately 123 countries pledged to triple renewable energy capacity worldwide by 2030. However, in many developing countries, renewable energy capacity remains a scarce resource, especially for heating and cooling. The renewable energy sources being considered range from hydropower, wind, solar, geothermal, ocean, sustainable biomass and biofuels. Yet, each country has specific characteristics and needs that require a combination of solutions including energy storage and imports from neighboring countries. Decision-makers across Asia and the Pacific need to consider questions such as: Which sectors should be prioritized for renewable energy to cost-effectively deliver the greatest greenhouse gas emissions reduction in our country? How can we collectively accelerate investments in renewable energy capacity? What is needed to increase private sector participation and financing in renewable energy in developing and emerging markets?

Thematic Track 2: Doubling Progress in Energy Efficiency by 2030

All countries have large amounts of an untapped and cost-effective fuel resource – energy efficiency. At COP28, countries pledged to double the global average annual rate of energy efficiency improvements by 2030. In Asia and the Pacific, progress on energy efficiency remains slow, with a few exceptions such as India, the People’s Republic of China and Singapore. How critical are government policies in increasing public and private sector investment in energy efficiency? What are the priority policies needed to create an enabling environment and de-risk projects? How can the private sector, including financial intermediaries and energy service companies, be key players in the energy efficiency market?

Thematic Track 3: Delivering Electricity Transmission and Distribution for the Future

The energy system across Asia and the Pacific is undergoing a major transformation towards full electrification. This transformation will require major systematic upgrades and expansion of electricity transmission and grids – on the same scale of investment as required for renewable energy – in order to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement. However, the electricity grid is now becoming a major bottleneck resulting in some renewable energy projects being delayed or cancelled due to the inability to connect these projects. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), globally, at least 3 terawatts of renewable power projects are waiting for a grid connection – this is equivalent to five times the solar photovoltaic and wind capacity added in 2022. It is essential to accelerate the construction of electricity transmission and distribution lines to keep with the pace of renewable energy demand. Based on experience in other countries with large amounts of renewable energy capacity, up-front planning can be critical.

Thematic Track 4: Financing New and Innovative Clean Energy Solutions in Hard-to-Abate Sectors

The industrial sector accounts for about 37% of energy use and 25% of energy-related carbon dioxide emissions worldwide. In Asia and the Pacific, industrial energy demand is growing rapidly and predominantly relying on fossil fuels. The International Energy Agency indicates that to reach net-zero emissions, the industrial sector will need to invest in a range of solutions including hydrogen, carbon, capture, utilization and storage (CCUS), direct electrification, advanced digital solutions, material efficiency and other innovative technologies and approaches. To achieve net-zero, the industrial sector will need to make significant investments into clean energy systems in a short-time period.