CTF Report Card Shows Progress on Promoting Clean Energy in Asia

Citizens looking at a poster of the future Ho Chi Minh City metro link.
Citizens looking at a poster of the future Ho Chi Minh City metro link.

By Jiwan Acharya

The 2015 Clean Technology Fund progress report hails ADB-administered projects in Indonesia, Thailand and Viet Nam.

As Asia and the Pacific grapple with increasing energy demand, certain countries are choosing to leapfrog into clean technology; ADB and the Clean Technology Fund (CTF), big supporters of renewable energy in the region, are helping make this possible.  

The 2015 CTF report card, presented at the Climate Investment Funds (CIFs) meetings this fall, underline the work that ADB and other multilateral development banks are doing on clean energy in Asia. The CTF, a funding window under CIFs, seeks to scale-up the ‘demonstration, deployment and transfer of low carbon technologies’ aimed at long-term reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. ADB administers over $1.1 billion of CTF funds for projects in the region.

Thailand’s Private Sector Renewable Energy program is noted in the report for producing utility-scale projects—two in solar and three in wind generation—which are making a huge impact, and successfully developing a model for private investors to get value out of renewable energy projects. This model that can be replicated by independent clean power producers in neighboring countries.

The Central Thailand Solar Power project and the Theppana Wind Power support the local generation company’s long-term growth strategy, emphasizing expansion into renewables to strengthen its business in independent clean power generation. Along with the Provincial Solar Power project, operated by a different local proponent in Ayutthaya and Chaiyaphum provinces, these three projects can collectively generate about 200,000 megawatt hours of electricity annually, and could reduce close to 3 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent (tCO2e ) throughout their lifetimes.

Two more wind facilities, the Subyai Wind Power and the North Eastern Thailand Wind projects are also underway. This particular use of public funds to finance solutions that curb risks for private renewable energy investors is a first – not only for ADB, but for the entire region.

In Indonesia, ADB and CTF are supporting two projects under the Private Sector Geothermal Program. The first is the Sarulla Geothermal Power Generation Project, the largest single-contract geothermal power project in the country’s history, estimated to offset 1.3 million tCO2e per year. Another project with similar goals is the Rantau Depap Geothermal Power Project, currently in the initial phase of geothermal resource exploration. Through these projects, ADB and the CTF do not simply aim to stimulate private investment, but also to pilot innovative and early-stage financing that will be instrumental in developing the next generation of greenfield geothermal projects which Indonesia has so much potential for, and naturally help reduce the country’s fossil fuel dependence.

Efforts related to leveraging private sector funds in Thailand and Indonesia are only part of the 17 projects and programs administered by ADB for the CTF. Although the majority are in renewable energy, which accounts for 69% of total portfolio, initiatives in energy efficiency and sustainable transport are also in progress.

The Sustainable Urban Transport Project in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi in Viet Nam is a big feature in the portfolio, totaling $150 million in CTF funding. These projects are part of the country’s transport master plans to respond to traffic congestion and low use of public transport in urban areas. Apart from being expected to reduce emissions by almost 1.3 million tCO2e over their lifetimes, both projects are also pushing for a shift toward public transport among the residents of the country’s two busiest cities, famous for high volume of motorbikes and rising car ownership. Eventually, the goal is to integrate rail initiatives under the project into a comprehensive system that includes buses and linkages to other modes of both public and private transport.

Through these CTF projects and programs, ADB is helping Asia and the Pacific implement climate mitigation initiatives. All our initiatives in climate and energy continually look at increasing our contribution to large-scale climate financing for developing countries in the region. As these move forward, ADB’s hope is to help set the region’s economic growth on a low-carbon climate-resilient path.