ADB looks to formulate new approach to increase access to energy

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Singapore, Apr 10 (UNI) Dozens of energy experts from across Asia are in Manila this week to help the Asian Development Bank (ADB) formulate a new strategic approach to increase access to modern forms of energy for the one billion people in Asia without electricity.

Almost half of the world's population does not have access to modern forms of energy. Many are still dependent on wood and other traditional biomass fuels for cooking and heating, ADB said in a statement today.

Increasing access to energy is essential for poverty reduction and ADB has played an important role in supporting its developing member countries (DMCs) to achieve this.

So far, ADB's emphasis has mainly been on extension of electricity grids- an approach that often still leaves large numbers of people, especially in rural areas far from transmission lines, without access to power.

''ADB recognizes the need to develop a more strategic approach to share experiences of different sectors and regions and help our developing member countries scale up successful interventions to increase access to energy for the poor,'' said ADB Vice-President Ursula Schaefer-Preuss.

More than 60 representatives from governments, financial institutions, and civil society are attending a three-day workshop of ADB looking at how the organisation can develop a new strategic approach to mainstream support for replicating and scaling up successful initiatives to increase access to modern energy services.

The meeting is co-hosted by The Foundation for Development Cooperation and Global Village Energy Partnership International.

''Expanding access to modern energy services has been a key part of ADB's efforts to reduce poverty in Asia and the Pacific region,'' she told the delegates at the workshop, which is part of ADB's Energy for All Initiative.

The initiative, which is being financed by a 2.3 million dollars grant from the Netherlands, will help ADB build on its expertise and respond to requests from its DMCs to implement energy access projects aimed at a more efficient use of energy for the rural and urban poor.

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