$601M needed for energy efficiency

Posted on June 27, 2013

THE PHILIPPINES will need $601 million in investments in order to meet its national target for energy efficiency by 2020, according to the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

In its study, "Same Energy, More Power: Accelerating Energy Efficiency in Asia," the ADB cited the need to boost investments in energy efficiency given surging demand for power and increasing environmental threats from greenhouse gas emissions.

"ADB estimates that a total of $944 billion of investments in end-use EE (energy efficiency) is needed for the PRC (People’s Republic of China), India and Southeast Asian countries, to meet their national targets for EE and greenhouse gas emission reductions by 2020," the report read.

"While the majority of this needed investment -- $865 billion -- is in the PRC, the investment required in other developing Asian countries is also quite significant, with $68 billion estimated for India and $11 billion for Southeast Asian countries," it added.

The Philippines’ share in the $11 billion is $601 million to reduce final energy consumption by 10% in all sectors, according to the report.

ADB said that the impact of energy efficiency investments on meeting the energy demand is "compelling."

It said that 1%-4% investment share in energy efficiency can meet as much as a 25% increase in primary energy consumption by developing Asian countries by 2030.

"In total, larger efforts for EE investment by PRC, India, and Southeast Asian countries carry the potential for significant impact in the wider region."

Bindu N. Lohani, ADB vice-president for knowledge management and sustainable development, said "there is huge potential for saving energy by making buildings, vehicles, machinery, and water pumps more energy-efficient to the benefit of consumers and the environment..."

"The time is right for ADB to do more in this area. We want to promote demand-side energy efficiency through public and private sector partnership, with ADB taking a lead role in providing customized policy advisory services, technical assistance, and innovative financing support in developing member countries," Mr. Lohani said in a speech at the launch of ADB’s study, at the bank’s headquarters in Mandaluyong City.

The study highlighted the booming demand for power in Asia, whose share of the world’s energy consumption is expected to rise from 34% in 2010 to as much as 56% in 2035.

The study showed that energy efficiency measures reduce the need to build more power generation plants, lowers the need to import fuel and will eventually free up government funds to be spent elsewhere.

ADB said that it has been expanding investment in clean energy, investing $2.3 billion in 2012.

Of this amount, ADB spent more than $970 million on projects for end-user energy efficiency, mainly in households and manufacturing plants.

ADB said that it could get involved in new investments supporting energy-efficient upgrades for public buildings, street lighting, and electricity metering devices.

The bank might also promote energy efficiency programs in utility companies and in state-owned industrial facilities, and help manufacturers phase out inefficient products more quickly. -- Claire-Ann Marie C. Feliciano