ADB raises assistance to improve clean energy access
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has boosted its technical assistance to scale up projects for better access to modern and reliable sources of clean energy.
An estimated 80 crore people in developing Asia have no access to basic electricity services and some 180 crore people must rely on traditional biomass fuels to meet their cooking and heating needs.
"Access to modern and reliable energy services is essential for sustainable development," ADB Vice-President Ursula Schaefer-Preuss said after the bank's Board of Directors approved $2 million in technical assistance recently.
The assistance will be used to develop and implement access to clean energy projects, an ADB spokesman said.
Jiwan Acharya, a climate change specialist with ADB's Regional and Sustainable Development Department, said the new technical assistance will initially focus on a few high-impact countries including Bangladesh.
The technical assistance will contribute to the ongoing work of the 'Energy for All Initiative', established in 2008 to increase ADB investment in access to energy.
It will also support the ADB's regional platform, 'Energy for All Partnership', which brings together financial institutions, the private sector, civil society and governments with the target of bringing power to 10 crore people in Asia and the Pacific by 2015.
Last year, ADB projects worth $418 million translated to around 243,600 new households connected to modern energy compared to the average of 169,200 between 2003 and 2008.