The ACEF 2015 Opening Plenary kicked off this morning with a special performance from El Gamma Penumbra, winners of Asiaâ€™s Got Talent 2015, and a Masterworks Sand Artist presentation of ACEF over the past ten years. The opening address by Bindu Lohani, VP Knowledge Management and Sustainable Development was followed by welcoming remarks from the ACEF co-organizers, represented by Robin Dunnigan, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Diplomacy, US Department of State; David Kim, Co-Chair, World Energy Council; and Byung Choon Park, Director General, Global Strategy Division, Korea Energy Management Corporation (KEMCO). Yongping Zhai, Technical Advisor (Energy) ADB was the moderator for keynote speeches delivered by Yvo de Boer, Director General, Global Green Growth Institute, and Ja-kyun Koo, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, LSIS, and Chairman of the Korea Smart Grid Association. The plenary also featured a special address by the Honorable Radha Kumari Gyawali, Minister for Energy, Government of Nepal.
Day 4 of ACEF continues tomorrow with sessions from all six of the Thematic Tracks, with a wide range of topics and speakers. In the afternoon, we will have the new Knowledge Networking event, a fast-paced session highlighting 26 innovative ideas, projects, or initiatives from around the region. The day will conclude with the Clean Energy Finance Plenary, featuring representatives from government, the private sector, and development partners discussing this critical issue.
Dr. Bindu Lohani, Vice President, Knowledge Management and Sustainable Development, ADB
"One of ACEFâ€™s valuable attributes is that it helps ADB to steer the conversation of clean energy towards the topics we feel (and many of you feel) require more thought and attention, and in my mind, these challenges are what we should be focusing on.
One of ADBâ€™s main challenges in the energy sector is regional cooperation and integration. The uneven geographic distribution of energy resources between Asian countries presents opportunities to address these challenges. It is a key development objective for ADB to figure out how to reach across borders to strengthen energy security, tap into clean energy resources and reshape the energy sector in Asia and the Pacific. This regional cooperation and integration can also yield significant dividends for individual countries."
The Honorable Radha Gyawali, Minister of Energy, Government of Nepal
"As a result of the April 2015 earthquake, Nepal suffered damage to 115 MW of operating facilities, and transmission and distribution systems were likewise damagedâ€¦I would like to invite investors and promoters from around the world to develop projects in Nepal, in all modalities."
Yvo de Boer, Director General, the Global Green Growth Institute
"2015 is going to be a momentous year for international development...the future increasingly belongs to those who look for the future in the future, not those who look for the future in the past."
Dr. Ja-Kyun Koo, Chairman and CEO, LSIS; Chairman, Korea Smart Grids Association
"A smart grid makes all possible, by allowing the integration of renewable energy and energy storage into the grid, and by optimizing energy use through demand response."
â€œIn Asia, we still have 600 million people without access to electricity, so it is natural that the focus of ADB operations is in the supply side and trying to provide energy access to people. We also try to work on demand side efficiency, but so far the successes have been focused on just a few countries.
To further expand our clean energy impact in the region, we need to need to focus on technology. For example, with smart grid technologies, we can combine the demand and the supply sides. By combining renewable energy with energy storage and energy management, we can really manage supply and demand. I call this RE Plus Plus. The concept of "RE Plus Plus" can be the solution to providing access and renewable energy, while also taking care of energy efficiencyâ€
Energy Leaders' Dialogue
Stephen Groff, Vice-President (Operations 2), ADB
â€œGlobal investment in clean energy was $310 billion last year. This was more than five times the figure of $60bn attained a decade earlier, in 2004. And the rate of increase of clean energy investment has been much higher for the Asia-Pacific. The Asia-Pacific region now accounts for half of the global total clean energy investment -- $154 billion, which is nearly 10 times higher than the 2004 figure of $19 billion for the region.â€
Montty Girianna, Deputy Minister, Indonesia Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs
â€œIn Indonesia we have three main challenges in the energy sector. The first is to get the price of energy right. And we have been making some progress on that over the past few years. The second is that we need to improve the environment for business development, since we need to rely on private sector investment for energy development. And the third is to increase access to energy for our citizens, while ensuring that it is affordable and clean.â€
Harish Hande, Co-founder and Managing Director, SELCO India
â€œEveryone is talking about megawatts and millions of dollars invested, but nobody is talking about how to increase human resources for sustainable energy sector. We need to invest in building the human resources to increase access and build a workforce of innovators and entrepreneurs in the countryâ€™s vocational school system. We really need to make a huge effort in this area. India is a paradox of a developed and an underdeveloped country. But because of this, India has the chance to become the knowledge house and center of innovation for energy access in Asia.â€
Christoph Frei, Secretary General, World Energy Council
â€œIn the area of energy efficiency, there is no way around leadership. For example, it is a great thing that Indonesia has gotten rid of its gasoline subsidy after many years. In short, without energy leadership energy efficiency is just not going to happen at a significant scale.â€
Other Voices of ACEF
Bharath Jairaj, Senior Associate, Electricity Governance Initiative, World Resources Institute
"This is my 5th ACEF and I keep attending because we see value in how ACEF connects the technology, finance, policy and regulations communities involved in in advancing clean energy. WRI focuses on turning its research into action, which is why the ACEF community is very valuable. ACEF provides the space where everyone from different fields related to clean energy can come together, which is hard to find at other forums or conferences. This trait gives ACEF a first-mover advantage."
Xuguang Huang, Trade Commissioner and Second Secretary (Commercial), Government of Canada
"At the Energy Storage and Smart Grid Solutions Deep Dive Workshop on Tuesday, we had the opportunity to explore new storage solutions for the next decade. We all agree there is a place for lithium batteries, but there are other technologies too and they have their place in the market...There is a readiness to invest in new technology and although lithium batteries have their place, there are many alternatives. More companies are listening, and ready to learn and deploy new technologies across the world. The market is moving forward, and it is clear that we need a solution for energy storage."
Photos From Around ACEF Today
ACEF connects the policy, technology, and finance communities
All seats taken up at the Opening Plenary
More than 1,000 are attending ACEF 2015
El Gamma Penumbra tells the story of clean energy through shadows and lights