The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is optimistic that Asia can get the 10 trillion US dollars it needs to
finance sustainable energy projects over the next 20 years.
The projects will include more efficient use of coal and oil as well as greater reliance on renewable power sources such as wind and solar energy.
However, ADB said that such projects will need more support from private investors.
China is one country which has made energy efficiency a top priority.
The country has increased its development of wind and hydro-electric power to create a more sustainable energy future.
"I think it's very striking to see this emphasis on efficiency in the
Chinese economy and the effort to apply technologies to not only be more
efficient but to change the pattern of demand and its caught up not only with
their energy picture, but also the determination to deal with the pollution
that's come with fast growth," said Daniel Yergin, Chairman of IHS CERA.
The Asian Development Bank is keen to see more economies in the region make an equally bold push for energy sustainability. This is a crucial challenge because Asia's demand for energy is expected to double in the next 20 years.
"When you talk to the private investors, they look at emerging markets and their emerging market ends in places like Korea or China, whereas there's a huge market beyond those countries and our objective is to bring in more resources to those countries as well. So I'm pretty optimistic that it can be done but right now we're still a long way off in terms of achieving enough leverage from private sector investors," said Woochong Um, Deputy Director General of Regional & Sustainable Development with the ADB.
The ADB said this is because investors perceive such projects as highly risky.
To give wary investors greater comfort, ADB is now trying to invest in such projects together with governments.
ADB also said that technological breakthroughs will also be needed to help take the use of renewables beyond 10 per cent of the electricity consumed in Asia.
Currently, over 8 per cent of power in China is generated by renewable sources and the country wants 16-20 per cent of energy coming from renewables by 2020.