ADB assures assistance to PH on RE push


    The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will continue supporting developing member countries (DMCs), including the Philippines, in meeting the Sustainable Development Goals and in complying with the Paris Agreement through finance, policy dialogue, technical assistance and knowledge sharing in pushing for renewable energy sources.

    “ADB will support its DMCs to reduce their dependence on coal and eventually phase out coal power generation. This will be done by setting standards and requirements such as emission intensities and minimum efficiency levels, while introducing low-carbon and climate-resilient technologies including carbon capture and storage,” said Yongping Zhai, ADB energy sector group chief.

    “…It is impossible for any country to rely on a single source for affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy in the near-term. Therefore, a well-balanced energy mix with an increasing share of renewable energy will be necessary for the foreseeable future in most Asian countries,” Zhai said.

    In 2018, tpower from coal provided almost 60 percent of electricity in Asia and even played a bigger role in the larger countries, generating 66.5 percent of all energy produced in China, 73.5 percent in India, 56.4 percent in Indonesia, 44.6 percent in Malaysia and 52.1 percent in the Philippines.

    According to the ADB, coal-fired power stations often have a lifespan of more than 30 years while the average age of coal fleet in Asia is about 12 years which would make the process of phasing out coal “a complex and enduring process.”

    Zhai said capacity-building will be key to help DMCs design policies as well as establish necessary mechanisms for reforms in the energy sector to accelerate energy transition apart from assessing new technologies.

    But these policies must be designed to ensure continued protection of people and the environment, he added.

    “…Even the best policy and the most advanced technologies must make economic and financial sense. The future of renewables depends on market maturity and their cost competitiveness relative to conventional sources. Appropriate carbon pricing and regulations can scale up the use of technological innovation,” Zhai said.

    In 2009, the ADB first implemented its current energy policy which focuses on promoting energy efficiency and renewable energy; maximizing access to energy for all; and promoting energy sector reforms.

    The bank said tfrom 2009 to 2019, the policy has become “instrumental” in guiding $42.5 billion in energy sector support across all DMCs.