Yongping Zhai (翟永平)
Dr. Yongping Zhai worked on energy development in Asia and Africa for 25 years. He was in charge of overall energy policy coordination and technical support to ADB energy sector operations. He was also in charge of developing energy sector knowledge work for ADB and interacts with worldwide energy sector partners.
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As countries in Asia and the Pacific make the transition to renewable energy in a post COVID-19 world, they should strive to ensure clean energy is available to everyone, everywhere and around the clock.
Asia and the Pacific must seek to achieve 24/7 electricity supply with good quality and sufficient quantity to maximize economic and human development benefits.
COVID-19 has exposed the vulnerability of energy value chains but solar power could be an indigenous solution to keep the lights on during a crisis.
Solar power is helping Asia get electricity to people, particularly in rural and remote areas, but it has fallen behind in its use as a clean energy cooking source.
Investment in renewable energy around the world is entering a new phase that will require governments and the private sector to re-think the way they develop projects.
To get energy efficiency programs back on track, governments need to focus on education, incentives and improved regulations, as well as artificial intelligence and machine learning.