The Asian Development Bank (ADB) said a fund it established to develop large capacity solar projects will increase the renewable energy resource to 3GW by mid-2013 in the Asia and Pacific region.
Haruhiko Kuroda, president of ADB, said governments in Asia and the Pacific should invest in solar energy to help ensure their growth is environmentally sustainable.
In May, the ADB launched the Asia Solar Energy Initiative to foster the development of this technology, which at the time produced less than 500MW of solar power from installed plants.
This capacity is expected to reach 1GW by the end of 2011 and 3GW by the end of its third year in May 2013.
Kuroda said the high economic growth rates witnessed in the Asia Pacific region combined with continuing population growth and projected energy demand create a huge potential market for solar energy.
‘Asian countries will need to aim to maintain economic progress and improve energy security, while simultaneously charting a new low-carbon development path,’ he said.
Kuroda applauded the region’s embrace of renewable technologies, which he said should benefit from finance and technology transfers from developed countries irrespective of the outcome of the COP-16 negotiations.
Last month, the ADB signed a joint venture agreement with India-based NTPC and Japan’s Kyushu Electric Power Company to develop and operate 500MW of renewable energy projects in India over the next three years.
Sam Tumiwa, principal and co-ordination specialist at the ADB, recently told NewNet that bank was also looking to set up a venture capital arm to add a fresh approach to its investment strategies in the region.
‘We are in the process of developing the Asia Clean Energy Venture Capital Fund. This is a space that is uncomfortable for a bank because we are AAA-rated and don’t usually take that kind of risk,’ he said.
Becoming more active in technology innovation will however, Tumiwa said, allow it to help the development of indigenous technologies and bring an end to the west-to-east technology transfer that has historically characterised the region.