3 Gigawatt Asia Solar Energy Initiative Announced

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Energy demand is projected to nearly double in the Asia and Pacific region and the growth provides challenges on how to generate electricity while also reducing greenhouse gas emissions. To help overcome the challenge, Asian Development Bank (ADB) announced yesterday a solar energy initiative aiming to generate  3,000 megawatts of solar power over the next three years.
The Asia Solar Energy Initiative (ASEI) will identify and develop large capacity solar farm projects with the help of USD$2.25 billion in finance for the initiative, which is expected to garner an additional $6.75 billion in solar power investments over the same period.
In addition to direct financing, ASEI has a target of raising $500 million from donor countries to “buy down” the substantial capital costs of investing in solar energy and will develop other innovative ways to attract private-sector investment.
ADB Managing Director General Rajat Nag said that given Central Asia’s growing demand for electricity and its substantial resources of desert land suitable for large scale solar farms,  several countries in the region are excellent candidates for ADB support through the ASEI initiative.
ASEI will also establish and host the Solar Energy Forum, an international knowledge-sharing platform. The first conference of the Solar Energy Forum is scheduled for 5-6 July in Manila, Philippines.
The ADB says it provided nearly $1.3 billion for projects with clean energy aspects, exceeding its $1 billion target for the second year in a row. Starting in 2013, this target will increase to $2 billion a year.
ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration.