Today was the close of ACEF 2015, and the end of a memorable week of connecting the technology, finance, and policy communities working in clean energy. In the morning there were two final sessions of the Policy & Regulation, Finance, and Technology tracks. During the Closing Plenary, the Track Chairs presented the key take-aways from the 95 presentations in the 18 thematic track sessions. Ashok Bhargava, Director ADB's Energy Division for East Asiamoderated the discussion.
Tom Dreessen, Chairman and CEO, EPS Capital Corporation
"We need to focus more of our efforts on increasing Access to Energy Efficiency because the energy efficiency space is underperforming and not meeting expectations in terms of delivering carbon reductions. The main barriers are scale, lack of confidence in EE technology and services, and available funding on the market for stakeholders. More work needs to be done locally, since there is plenty of capital available in the local marketplace. There is a global need for professional monitoring and verification capacity to ensure certified energy savings."
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Christoph Menke, Trier University of Applied Sciences, Germany and The Joint Graduate School of Energy and Environment (JGSEE), Bangkok, Thailand
"For renewables, we are back to pre-financial crisis status, and the jobs within this industry have become a bigger part of the conversation. Grid parity for different RE technologies is necessary to attract a wide range of customer groups. Economic, institutional, and regulatory frameworks need to be developed. ADB can engage in a dialogue with Developing Member Countries (DMCs) on education and vocational training and request the DMCs to learn through small pilot projects. We have a lot of experience in Southeast Asia, but we are slow at implementing lessons learned from more developed regions. We should share and learn from these lessons because renewables will come, whether we are ready or not."
Athena Ronquillo-Ballesteros, Director, Finance Center
World Resources Institute
"I've seen at this meeting that there is a call for partnerships, which should be revisited at ACEF next year. India has an ambitious plan to implement 1,000 mini-grids and all the people in this room have a role to play in helping the country to meet that target. We need to be ready for COP21 in Paris later this year, and many of the conversations this week have produced very good ideas. Entrepreneurs and project developers should work bilaterally with different stakeholders."
Ms. Wei-nee Chen, Chief Corporate Officer
Sustainable Energy Development Authority, Malaysia
"There are a lot of policy tools and with these policies there must be transparency and predictability. We have run out of time to mitigate climate change. Each country needs to have a sense of purpose, and climate change can provide a political imperative to cut through the carious technical, institutional and policy barriers, in order to really scale up access to clean energy. And there is also a moral imperative, since the poorest countries are the most vulnerable to the detrimental impacts of climate change. COP21 is critical to provide legally binding targets to cut global carbon emissions."
Daniel Wiedmer, Senior Investment Specialist at ADB
"Feed-in-tariffs are good for fast-scale up, but not very efficient, whereas auctions are better for political buy-in and usually lead to a lower cost in any case. There needs to be more time to debate subsidies for fossil fuels, at least as much as the time we spend debating feed-in tariffs. On the negative side, GHG emissions have increased; the impact of climate change has been faster than projected; and feedback loops are happening faster. On the positive side, the price of solar PV came down by a factor of 10 in only 10 years, a much faster rate than predicted in Lord Stern's Report. Clean energy is as competitive as grid electricity in many places. A fundamental shift has happened to make this change. New financial vehicles such as YieldCos are funding solar and wind portfolios, and the financial community is now looking at clean energy as an extremely low risk investment. For example, Citibank has raised $8.8bn for clean energy investment in the past 21 months."
"The major challenge is linking technology to different governance levels: how can we integrate clean energy across the board and take best practices into account? We need to devise new ways to use innovative technologies, and explore new business models, case studies of adapting new solutions, and linking locally sourced funds to finance bankable projects. IEA has been supporting global cooperation for 40 years and we continue to help accelerate innovative technology knowledge transfer. We need to build local knowledge and capacity to integrate policy and technologies."
Closing Keynote Address
Ralph Sims, Professor of Sustainable Energy at Massey University, New Zealand, and Director of the Centre for Energy Research, gave the closing keynote address, which provided an overview of where we are today with clean energy and efforts to combat climate change.
Ralph Sims, Professor of Sustainable Energy at Massey University
New Zealand, and Director of the Centre for Energy Research
"There is good news. The G-7 leaders have declared that urgent and concrete action is needed to address climate change. Major oil companies have recognized the value of transitioning to natural gas. Most recently, Pope Francis has called climate change one of the main challenges facing humanity, and spoke out for global action. It is important to work toward deep cuts in GHG emissions to limit warming to 2 degrees Celsius relative to pre-industrial levels."
ACEF 2015 Raffle Winners
This year there were 10 winners of the much awaited iPad raffle.
The raffle winners with their prizes
Closing of the ACEF 2015 ACEF officially concluded with closing remarks from ADB VP Wencai Zhang.
Wencai Zhang, Vice-President (Operations 1) of ADB
"I would like to offer gratitude to USAID, KEMCO, WEC, for making ACEF possible and very successful. I would like to thank the ACEF Secretariat, I would like to thank our donors, and finally I would like to thank all our speakers. We truly hope you have gained inspiration through your involvement in this Forum."
Messages from the ACEF Co-Organizers
Robin Dunnigan, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Diplomacy, US Department of State
ACEF brings together the right people at the right time. Now is the time because governments are focused on energy policy in the run up to COP 21 in Paris; because Asiaâ€™s economic growth demands we pay attention to it; because renewables are increasingly competitive with fossil fuels; and because of whatâ€™s happening within global natural gas markets.
Christoph Frei, Secretary General, World Energy Council
The energy world is truly at a tipping point. New market design is called for to ensure stable energy markets with increasing renewable shares; new business models are emerging to take advantage of new technological solutions; and new international policy frameworks are required to maximize the broader opportunities. This is why gatherings such as the Asia Clean Energy Forum and the work of ADB are so important, and why the World Energy Council is proud to support this yearâ€™s event.
Byung Choon Park, Director General, Global Strategy Division, Korea Energy Management Corporation (KEMCO)
The Asia Clean Energy Forum provides opportunities for private and public sectors to share policy direction and business possibilities as the importance of demand side management increases. As new technologies on renewable energy and energy efficiency were being introduced during the forum, participants were able to share their thoughts on ways to make them into projects for dissemination to Developing Member Countries.
KEMCO will act as a bridge to deliver Korea's experiences to DMCs. We are very pleased with the outcome from this yearâ€™s ACEF, and we look forward to participate in future ACEFs.
Other photos from the final day of ACEF 2015
Questions from the floor
Networking at ACEF
Energy Challenges and Innovations Relevant to Small Island States, an ADB Pacific Department Event
Sam Tumiwa, Deputy Representative, North America Representative Office, Asian Development Bank
ACEF 2015 Steering Committee
We bid you all a fond farewell and look forward to seeing you at ACEF 2016 at ADB Headquarters, Manila!
Aiming Zhou, ADB Peter du Pont, Nexant