[CORRECTED] The ACEF Daily Broadcast: Exclusive Clean Energy Updates from Asia - Report on Day 5
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10 June 2016
Dear Clean Energy Colleagues,
Today was the close of ACEF 2016, and the end of a memorable week of connecting the technology, finance, and policy communities working in clean energy. In the morning there were a final set of parallel sessions covering efficiency, renewables, access, and the future of energy, along with a Roundtable on Effective Regulation for Clean Energy in Southeast Asia. During the Closing Plenary, the Track Chairs presented the key findings from the 24 thematic track sessions. Peter du Pont, Co-Chair, Asia Clean Energy Forum 2016 and Climate Change Team Lead, USAID Regional Development Mission for Asia moderated the discussion.
Mark Lister, Senior Advisor, Global Energy Efficiency Accelerator Platform, Copenhagen Center on Energy Efficiency
Chair of Track 1: Innovations in Energy Efficiency
“Efficiency alone can deliver over half of the emissions required to achieve the 2 degrees target of the Paris Agreement.  Without efficiency we won’t be able to go as far as we need to in achieving the renewable energy and energy access objectives that the new climate agreements demand.  Energy efficiency is increasingly being understood as an invaluable multiplier, not only for clean energy, but for wide-ranging objectives across economic productivity improvement, air quality, and public health.”
Yong Chen, Regional Programme Officer (Asia and the Pacific), International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)
Chair of Track 2: Innovations in Renewable Energy
“2015 has witnessed 147 GW of renewable power capacity added globally. This was the largest annual increase ever, a new record high in renewable energy investment. The dramatically enhanced cost-competitiveness of renewable energy was achieved through competition, innovation, economies of scale, and improved long-term policy certainty attributable largely to adoption of the Paris Climate Agreement.”
Davida Wood, Senior Associate, World Resources Institute
Chair of Track 3: Increasing Energy Access
“At the project level, there are encouraging success stories. Project developers are becoming more sophisticated about data collection to characterize demand and understand consumers’ needs for decentralized solutions. However, there is a disconnect between these efforts and national planning efforts. Without this data, governments have a suboptimal understanding of demand for decentralized energy services and cannot build these needs into national plans that could support the scaling up of these projects.”
Dan Millison, Manager, Transcendergy L.L.C
Chair of Track 4: Charting the Future of Clean Energy in Asia
“A year ago at ACEF 2015, the clean energy landscape looked different than today, but we were all hopeful it would change soon—and it did. With agreement on the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the accord reached at COP 21 in Paris, we have an updated paradigm in which clean energy is a subset of climate change, which is in turn a subset of sustainable development. If we don’t have speed or scale for technology, we won’t be able to weaponize anything for the war on climate change”
Closing Plenary Panel Session
After the track chairs provided a summary of the key outcomes of the discussions during the sessions in the different thematic tracks, there was a discussion with a diverse panel of clean energy leaders covering the non-profit, development, finance, and business sectors, moderated by Peter du Pont of USAID. The panelists were asked to reflect on discussions during the week and to highlight some of the key short- and medium term opportunities they see going forward in the development of the energy sector, as we move into the intensive implementation and monitoring phase following the agreements made at COP 21.
Closing plenary panel: Maria Athena Ronquillo-Ballesteros, WRI; Aurelia Micko, USAID; Peter du Pont, USAID; Soma Dutta, ENERGIA; Edwin Lerch, Siemens; and Yongping Zhai, ADB.
Maria Athena Ronquillo-Ballesteros, Director, Finance Center, World Resources Institute
“In order to keep emissions below 1.5 degrees, with the implementation of the Paris Agreement, we need to change the way we think about energy, transport and infrastructure. We need to map what is already happening to best complement existing interventions in the clean energy ecosystem.”
Aurelia Micko,  Deputy Director, Regional Environment Office,
USAID Regional Development Mission for Asia
“Watching this clean energy community and seeing what the sessions are about, what the dialogues are, and the presentations is fascinating. Clean energy has become mainstream in many ways, and the future we wanted 10 years ago has been largely realized. We must dare to imagine the next future, and to see what institutions such as USAID should do, now that the future we wanted is here. The range of diverse, productive conversations here is what makes ACEF great, and every year there is something that blows my mind. Now we need to think about what comes next ... USAID does the important development work that the private sector does not make money from, and we need to focus on things that people don’t want to work on.”
Soma Dutta, Programme Coordinator, Women's Economic Empowerment Programme, ENERGIA, International Network on Gender and Sustainable Energy
“I am happy to see a high number of women at ACEF along with civil society organizations. In energy access however, there is still a large amount of inequality and disparity transcending between all levels. Compared to people in urban grid-connected areas, people in rural areas are spending much more on energy access, and they are getting services that are substandard. ... The essential role of the community came up in all discussions about microgrids, the role of women, and role of energy in poverty reduction ... We need to make the last mile the first.”
Edwin Lerch, Head of System Dynamics, SIEMENS AG
“In Germany we have a huge penetration of renewables. We had to completely rebuild our power system, and in order to do so, the entire philosophy had to change …The existing power system of Germany would not have been able to integrate these variable renewable energy sources in an economically effective manner. As a result of this change in technical capability and philosophy, we have been able to take advantage of other available energy resources in Germany and to also share our solutions with other countries”
Yongping Zhai, Senior Advisor, Office of the Director General, Asian Development Bank
“Globally, the cost of solar and wind energy have dropped tremendously, but countries still do not feel that solar is getting cheaper. The three main barriers to this are technology, policy, and costs ... The cost of has solar dropped by 80%, and the cost of wind has dropped by 30%.  But by and large, renewable energy such as solar and wind is still somewhat more expensive than conventional energy, when the carbon price is not considered. According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, the 2016 levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) for solar photovoltaic (PV) is about 9.9 US cents per KWh on average; and onshore wind is US 8.1 cents per kWh, and coal in Asia is about US 6.1 cents per kWh. The cost can be prohibitive for developing countries which lack manufacturing capacity and face higher financing costs."
Closing Keynote Address
Ralph Sims, Professor of Sustainable Energy at Massey University, New Zealand, and Director of the Centre for Energy Research delivered an exciting roundup of key events in climate and energy that have taken place over the past year, since ACEF 2015.  Following his snapshot, Professor Sims discussed what a post COP21 energy future may look like, and emphasized the importance of connecting diverse stakeholders in order to realize social benefits as a part of the clean energy transformation. He stated that we need to think about what actions we should do on a personal level and set an example since we know what change needs to happen. Further to this, Professor Sims expressed that communication is the key to successful deployment of clean energy to connect technical solutions with social benefits.
Ralph Sims, Professor of Sustainable Energy/Director, Massey University / Centre for Energy Research delivering keynote address on
The World of Energy, Post-Paris
ACEF 2016 Raffle Winners
This year there were 10 winners of the much awaited iPad raffle.
ACEF 2016 Raffle Winners with their iPad Prizes
Closing of the ACEF 2016
ACEF officially concluded with closing remarks from Manish Bapna of World Resources Institute and Yongping Zhai.
Manish Bapna, Executive Vice-President and Managing Director,
World Resources Institute
“As we think about ACEF 2016 and the challenges of implementation, can we pick a few big issues to address between now and next year? Can we do more convening, can we initiate more conversations between the forums. Can we solve some of these problems sooner rather than later? How do we take the creativity of the Forum and deliver something on the ground? Can we expand the Asia Clean Energy Forum into an Asia Clean Energy Community? Can we turn ACEF into a movement? Radical change can happen, and we need to take advantage of this window of opportunity that may only last for 3 years.”
Yongping Zhai, Senior Advisor, Office of the Director General, Sustainable Development and Climate Change Department, Asian Development Bank
“ACEF is a great place for making connections, especially during the Knowledge Networking session in this room, where we had 20 speakers at different tables, and more than 100 participants. This is a relatively new event at ACEF, and we hope to continue it ... Participants tell us that at ACEF they meet real people—e.g., CEOs of small and medium clean energy enterprises, and startups with brilliant ideas and solutions, as well as thought leaders.”
Roundtable on Effective Regulations for Clean Energy in Southeast Asia
On Friday morning, ADB’s Office of the General Counsel and USAID hosted a roundtable discussion with regulators from ASEAN, including representatives from Cambodia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Viet Nam. Building on an ADB study of regulatory effectiveness in the power and water sectors in the region, the roundtable allowed regulatory officials to present their activities to support clean energy, and to share the challenges they face in developing a sustainable power sector. At the session, USAID also introduced a new regional program it is launching later this year called Clean Power Asia. The program will focus on improved energy planning, improved regulation and smart incentives, and mobilization of finance for grid-connected renewable energy.  The session provided an excellent forum for a regional dialogue and cooperation on regulatory issues, and will hopefully serve as a catalyst for further engagement going forward.
Participants in the Roundtable on Effective Regulation for Clean Energy in Southeast Asia
Other photos from the final day of ACEF 2016
Speakers presenting in the thematic track sessions
on the last day of ACEF
ACEF 2016 Steering Committee
We bid you all a fond farewell, and look forward to seeing you at the next ACEF in June 2017 at ADB Headquarters, Manila!
Priyantha Wijayatunga
Asian Development Bank
Peter du Pont
Climate Change Team Lead
USAID Regional Development Mission Asia
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