Asia ‘must invest more in energy efficiency’

Asia has made huge progress in clean energy initiatives in the last decade but more investment is needed. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) also suggested the region needs to boost […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

Asia has made huge progress in clean energy initiatives in the last decade but more investment is needed.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) also suggested the region needs to boost investment in energy efficiency and innovation to meet rising demand and cope with a changing climate.

Bindu N. Lohani, ADB Vice President for Knowledge Management and Sustainable Development said renewable energy is “becoming more competitive as technology progresses” but “the low hanging fruit of energy efficiency is not being well picked” in Asia.

He added hydropower in the Mekong region countries and in South Asia could help meet demand and a carbon tax could be the topic of discussion at the climate talks in Paris later this year.

Clean energy investment in Asia and the Pacific has risen sharply since 2006 to nearly $106 billion (£66.7bn) in 2013.

However around 600 million people in Asia still lack access to electricity and dependency on fossil fuels remains high, with the region emitting around 13.4 billion tonnes of carbon. That accounts for 37% of global emissions.

China is currently the largest investment destination for clean energy, according to the ADB, with investment soaring more than eight-fold – exceeding $83 billion (£52bn) last year.

Investment in India for clean energy rose from $5.5 billion (£3.5bn) in 2006 to $7.4 billion (£4.7bn) last year.