KATHMANDU, Oct 19: Asian Development Bank (ADB) has sought to promote cleaner cooking and heating solutions to the people from developing member countries (DMCs), who are living without access to modern energy systems.
The multilateral lending institution in its proposed 2021 Energy Policy has planned to expand its investment in the sector. The proposed policy is consistent with Strategy 2030 and its seven operational priorities, said the ADB in a press release.
Progress on access to energy has been rapid across developing Asia and the Pacific, reaching an overall electrification rate of 96 percent in 2019, which is a 16 percent increase since 2010. However, the electrification rates of individual DMCs vary widely and many power systems continue to be hampered by unreliable supply.
Currently, about 940 million people in Asia and the Pacific still experience frequent interruptions, about 350 million people do not enjoy an adequate supply, and about 150 million people still have no access to electricity. The issue of how to achieve adequate, reliable, and affordable universal access will therefore remain on the agendas of governments as well as national and international development financing institutions.
According to ADB, persistent and widespread unequal access to energy services makes it imperative to prioritize support to all disadvantaged and vulnerable groups—women, the poor, racial and ethnic minorities, indigenous peoples, people with disabilities, older persons, and other marginalized people. To achieve its objectives, the ADB has targeted to focus its energy sector operations in five policy principle areas.
In its first policy principle, ADB will support efforts to bring affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy to all, so as to eradicate extreme poverty and reduce social inequalities. The second policy principle will be targeted for providing support to its DMCs to tackle climate change, enhance environmental sustainability and build climate and disaster resilience.
In the third policy principle, ADB will support the institutional development, financial sustainability, and good governance of energy sector institutions and companies as well as private sector participation. It will also assist in creating the policy frameworks needed to manage the energy transition. Promotion of regional energy cooperation and the integration of energy systems to strengthen energy security and increase cross-border access to cleaner energy sources will be among its key priorities.
Similarly, ADB has sought to give continuity to combine finance, knowledge, partnerships, and its country-focused approach to deliver integrated solutions with comprehensive and magnified development impacts.