Track 3: Energy Access

Track Chairs:


Jiwan Acharya

Senior Energy Specialist, South Asia Department,
Asian Development Bank


Soma Dutta

Programme Coordinator, Women’s Economic Empowerment Programme,

With almost 60% of the global population, the Asia-Pacific region still has more than 420 million people who lack access to electricity, and about 2 billion people still dependent upon traditional solid fuels for cooking and heating. Three-quarters of these live in South Asia alone, and at the same time, 70% of households in the Pacific islands are not electrified. The lack of electricity and clean cooking options most severely affects the remote and urban informal settlers who are trapped in energy poverty. Current estimates suggest that more than 50 million people will still be without access to energy in 2040. The Asia-Pacific region is also home to a host of new ideas, technological innovations, market-driven business models and financing solutions in expanding energy access. Among others, renewable energy options are poised to reshape the energy access challenge.

The Energy Access track will focus on how to scale new, emerging ideas and innovations to expand energy access in a manner that makes “the last mile the first”. In particular, it will showcase how multi-sectoral partnerships that include national and sub-national governments, the private sector, the civil society and the communities, can do so effectively. For the first time, ACEF will also provide a platform for dialogue with grassroots-level men and women who are making pioneering efforts in bringing clean energy technologies and services to poor communities.

Session 3: National Energy Access Policies and Plans: Government-Led Efforts

National governments have a key role to play in extending clean energy to their populations as a basic right to development. This session will showcase how governments can play a catalytic role in expanding energy access through effective policies, regulations, and programs.

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Session 7: Addressing Urban Energy Issues

Rapid urban growth in developing countries is creating an ever-increasing demand for energy services, including services such as legal, safe, and affordable electricity and access to clean energy for cooking. According to United Nations estimates, about 33% of the population in developing countries lives in slums. By 2050, up to 65% of Asia’s population is expected to live in cities. Improved energy access has the potential to improve socio-economic status and employment opportunities of urban poor. This session will highlight innovative solutions tackling energy access issues for urban poor including electricity and cooking.

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Session 11: Leveraging Finance to Deliver Energy Access for the Last Mile

The delivery of energy access services at the “last mile” is fraught with a range of challenges, each unique to its location. One of the primary challenges of achieving energy access goals is how to scale up financing for the last mile. This session will discuss the challenge of mobilizing financing, including attracting private capital and innovative mechanisms to ensure its appropriate delivery and use, as well as engaging local communities in solving the energy access conundrum for the last mile, and addressing issues of poverty, gender and social inclusion.

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Session 15: Energy Access Leaders and Voices from the Grassroots

The session, which will be co-organized by ADB, PFAN, and ENERGIA, will showcase real life experiences of four (4) women energy entrepreneurs from the grassroots. The selection has been made through a call for nominations for women-led businesses, followed by evaluation by a jury. The selected entrepreneurs have been invited (together with a representative from their parent organization) to attend and present at ACEF. At the same time, the parent organization is receiving mentoring support through the PFAN network, in order to help them develop business plans and secure funding for their businesses and initiatives.

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Session 19: The Energy Access Nexus: The Multiplier Effects of Energy Access to Meet Community Needs

Energy services are a crucial input to supporting the provision of basic needs such as food, a comfortable living temperature, lighting, piped water, essential health care, educational aids, communication and transport. They also are a necessary input for income generation through powering agriculture, industries and mining. This session will focus on the “nexus” issues surrounding energy access and how best to utilize energy services to catalyze overall development and poverty reduction in sectors such as agriculture and food processing, as well as for community services such as health, education, public institutions, and infrastructure.

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