USAID CLEAN POWER ASIA
The USAID Clean Power Asia program works with Lower Mekong countries and other Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states to encourage power sector investments in environmentally friendly, clean energy sources. The program specifically focuses on bringing greater quantities of renewable energy into the region’s electricity grids.
Energy demand in Asia is expected to increase dramatically in the next decade. Without a concerted effort to promote a low emission power system, the region will continue to rely heavily on conventional energy sources such as coal and large-scale hydropower to meet this demand. Further expansion of conventional power plants will have far-reaching negative impacts, both for global greenhouse gas emissions as for ecosystem, human health, fisheries and livelihoods throughout the Mekong River Basin.
POWER SECTOR PLANNING
A major challenge for implementing renewable energy at scale is to integrate climate targets and renewable energy planning into power sector planning. The program supports the establishment and updating of national renewable energy targets and the integration of these targets into power development plans and integrated resource plans for the power sector. USAID Clean Power Asia works to rationalize the planning and development of renewable energy by linking it to the transmission planning process. Experience around the world has shown that renewable energy zones can improve access for renewable energy providers and contribute to cost reductions in the provision of grid-connected renewable energy .The program works to establish a stakeholder collaborative process for renewable energy zone development in the region.
MOBILIZING PUBLIC AVD PRIVATE SECTOR INVESTMENT
Although renewable energy investments offer a range of promising new business opportunities, project developers have faced formidable financial and regulatory challenges. In the lower Mekong region in particular, renewable energy projects receive less interest than traditional capital investments. AT the same time, barriers exist for banks and financial institutions to effectively engage and invest in renewable energy. USAID supports financial institutions, development, and other relevant stakeholders to secure and reduce the cost of finance for renewable energy projects by help to develop innovative business models; promoting standardized documentation and evaluation practices and approval processes for financing renewable energy project; and providing other advisory services.
PROMOTING LOW EMISSION POWER SYSTEMS
The program supports integrating climate targets into energy planning to help ensure that both policy and the regulatory environment support low-emission growth. USAID Clean Power Asia simultaneously works with project developers, the investment community, government, and other donor agencies to attract public- and private-sector investment into grid-connected renewable energy development. In addition to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and deferring or even eliminating the need to build new conventional capacity for energy, scaling up renewable energy (such as solar, wind, small hydro, and biomass residues) can deliver significant development benefits. These include providing reliable energy access, improving air quality, reducing health costs, boosting economic growth, mitigating transnational conflict, promoting food security and biodiversity, as well as reducing direct energy costs.
IMPACT AND RESULTS
USAID Clean Power Asia is expected to mobilize at least $750 million in clean energy investments over the next five years. It will also support installing at least 500 megawatts of grid-tied renewable energy generation and assist in implementing laws, policies, strategies, plans, or regulation that contribute to reductions of greenhouse gas emission.
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