The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is planning to roll out nearly $1 billion of energy investments across the region during the 2019-2021 period.
As the energy demand in the Asia and Pacific region grows, ADB is trying to improve the regional energy systems in the Pacific. The bank is seeking to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy; maximize access to energy for all, and promote energy sector reform, capacity building, and effective governance.
Speaking on the role of ADB in the Pacific region, ADB Pacific Department Energy Division Director Olly Norojono, said, “Over 2019 to 2021, we are building on these achievements by helping install new sources of renewable power, improve supply-side efficiency, and integrate battery storage. We are also providing support to manage better and regulate countries’ energy sectors.”
From 2007 to 2018, ADB has approved financing for projects to install 62 MW of renewable energy generation capacity, construct or refurbish more than 1,600 km of transmission lines and connect more than 10,000 households to electricity grids.
ADB’s recently published report “Pacific Energy Update 2019” underlines how it is helping the Pacific developing member countries (DMCs) to move away from the conventional sources of energy and embrace renewable energy.
To overcome regional energy constraints, the developing member countries in the Pacific region have embarked on a structural shift towards renewables, and most of the countries in the region are targeting 100% renewables for their energy mix.
The Pacific Renewable Energy Investment Facility is streamlining ADB and donor partner investments in the 11 smallest developing member countries by funding $750 million for the development of small-scale renewable energy projects through a single facility.
The Capacity Building and Sector Reform for Renewable Energy Investments Program in the Pacific is supporting the long-term sustainability of infrastructure and investments in energy sectors across the region.
The Pacific Renewable Energy Program (PREP) is designed to encourage private sector investment in the renewable sector, and for this program, ADB is financing $100 million.
As per the report, ADB is supporting the Marshall Islands to strengthen energy security and modernize outdated power infrastructure. The Majuro Power Network Strengthening Project is installing an advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), which will allow Marshalls Energy Company (MEC) to manage power more efficiently, decrease network losses, reduce diesel fuel consumption for power generation, and improve revenue collection.
In Papua New Guinea, the Power Sector Development Project, which is ADB’s biggest energy project in the Pacific, will expand the transmission and distribution network to increase the national electrification rate from 12% to 19% by 2028.
In Samoa, the Renewable Energy Development and Power Sector Rehabilitation Project is supporting Samoa’s energy sector by increasing power generation from renewable energy sources, rehabilitating damages to power infrastructure caused by Cyclone Evan, and increasing the power sector’s resilience in case of future natural disasters.
In the Solomon Islands, the 15 MW Tina River Hydropower Project represents a major shift in power generation. It is projected to meet nearly 68% of the country’s needs while reducing its carbon dioxide emissions by 49,500 tons per year.
In Tonga, the Tonga Renewable Energy Project will deliver funds from the Pacific Renewable Energy Investment Facility to help Tonga rapidly transition to cleaner forms of power generation while increasing access to electricity for communities on the outer islands. ADB is also supporting Tonga to reconstruct assets using a build-back-better approach to safeguard infrastructure against natural hazards in the future.
Similarly, ADB is helping the Cook Islands by helping it install battery-supported solar generation systems on five islands reducing the use of diesel and helping the country in achieving the goal of 100% renewable energy generation.
Currently, ADB is supporting 14 active energy projects in 10 countries in the Pacific worth $371 million.
Earlier this year, as a part of its ongoing Pacific Renewable Energy Program, the bank approved an umbrella facility of up to $100 million to provide financing support including loans, guarantees, and letters of credit to overcome constraints to private sector investment in renewable power projects in Pacific island countries.
Previously, it was reported that the ADB had announced that it would provide a $12.2 million financing for renewable energy projects under the Pacific Renewable Energy Investment Facility. This facility was approved by the in 2017 and was an initiative to develop renewable energy projects in 11 Pacific islands’ developing member countries at an overall estimated cost of $750 million.
Rakesh Ranjan is a staff reporter at Mercom India. Prior to joining Mercom, he worked in many roles as a business correspondent, assistant editor, senior content writer, and sub-editor with bcfocus.com, CIOReview/Silicon India, Verbinden Communication, and Bangalore Bias. Rakesh holds a Bachelor’s degree in English from Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU). More articles from Rakesh Ranjan.