ACEF 2017 Call for Abstracts (Submission CLOSED)

About the Thematic Tracks at ACEF 2017

The Forum will have four thematic tracks. Three sector-focused tracks cover the core pillars of Energy for All: Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, and Energy Access. We also have a fourth track entitled Charting the Future of Clean Energy in Asia. This track will be cross-cutting, and will focus on big ideas that will be important for the transition to a clean energy future for Asia.

The deadline for submissions is Friday 10 March 2017, at 17:00 Manila time (+8 GMT). Submissions must be short (no more than 150 words), and should highlight concrete outcomes and achievements. You can find the form for submitting an abstract at the bottom of this page.

Guidance for development of abstracts

Submissions should be based on experience in the design, implementation, and/or evaluation of clean energy and energy access projects and initiatives. We encourage submission of abstracts that are more practical than theoretical, and that cover innovations in technology and energy systems; new approaches to policy development and financing; community and grassroots clean energy initiatives; creative business models and ideas; and detailed case studies. Abstracts should address one of the topics under the Thematic Tracks listed below:


The Paris Climate Agreement came into force in November 2016, and more than 125 countries have ratified the agreement. However, IEA analyses show that even if all 197 countries who were party to the Paris agreement fully implemented their intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs), greenhouse gas emissions would not be reduced to a level necessary to maintain a global temperature rise of less than 2 degrees Celsius. Various studies have shown that if aggressive packages of energy efficiency measures are effectively implemented, then countries can achieve a transition to a low carbon future without harming their economies. Governments need tools to help them value the multiple benefits of energy efficiency to drive the necessary policy developments to overcome the multiple barriers to energy efficiency.

This year’s Energy Efficiency track will focus on supporting the implementation of nationally determined contributions (NDCs) through engaging all energy efficiency stakeholders on effective implementation of energy efficiency programs and accelerating energy efficiency investment.

Abstracts should address one of the topics listed below:

  • High Impact Energy Efficiency Policies for NDCs

    This session will highlight the potential for achieving the transition to low carbon energy systems at low cost by making the most of what energy efficiency has to offer. It will highlight both the global potential and individual country experiences.

  • How can Digitalization Improve the Efficiency of our Government Energy Efficiency Programs and Our Businesses?

    Implementing an effective energy efficiency standards and labelling program for appliances or an energy management program for industry can be challenging for governments. This session will explore the opportunities that digitalization brings to make programs more effective at lower costs. For example, a universal QR code would be a great tool for regulators and smaller countries with lower budgets both for compliance purposes and to provide high-quality information to consumers. Equally, today’s reduced costs of sub-metering allow businesses the opportunity to collect disaggregated, real-time data on energy consumption allowing them to reap the benefits of better managing their consumption and, where required, reporting it to government.

  • Capabilities to Support Energy Efficiency and Project Preparation with Win-win Partnerships (such as ADB-IEA, ADB-KEA, ADB-partner banks etc.)

    Energy efficiency investment is key to achieving a low carbon development path. Emerging markets continue to have significant energy saving potentials from its fast economic growth. It is critical that the financial institutions, in particular, multi-lateral development agencies (such as ADB, WB, EBRD etc.) accelerate energy efficiency investment in emerging markets through financial and non-financial assistance.

    Though the MDBs provide direct loans, grants, and equity to energy efficiency projects or funds to energy efficiency, renewable energy, and other climate-related activities, it is equally important to bring in other technically strong agencies to likewise contribute to energy efficiency project development and implementation. In the clean energy arena, the International Energy Agency, Korean Energy Agency, and World Resources Institute are examples of well-known agencies that are active in supporting low-carbon development in the Asia-Pacific region. Drawing on their expertise and networks, ADB and other MDBs are able to mobilize more finance into energy efficiency, and encourage greater private sector involvement in infrastructure.

    To further strengthen partnerships and scale up energy efficiency investment in the future, this session will share experiences and stories of how to mainstream the external technical partners into ADB and other finance institutes’ operations.

  • Assessing the Multiple Benefits of Energy Efficiency

    Most governments are not motivated by energy efficiency in its own right, but rather by the social and economic benefits it brings. This session will highlight some of the benefits that drive governments to take action, as well as methodologies for measuring and communicating the multiple benefits of efficiency.

  • Appropriate Measurement and Verification Systems

    To make the case for adequate investment in energy efficiency, it is essential to have quality data and analyses on the impact of polices and measures. It is also essential to have mechanisms for tracking progress against targets. In both cases, analysis helps prove the benefits of energy efficiency and allow modifications to be made to make the policies and measures more effective. This session will cover experiences using good systems for measurement and verification, as well as for program evaluation.

  • Sustainable Fiscal Instruments

    Countries across the world have been able to support energy efficiency and conservation objectives through various fiscal instruments. These include dedicated energy efficiency funds, or revolving funds supported by taxes, or tax incentives or import-duty reductions for energy-efficient equipment. This session will explore different types of fiscal instruments, how they can be used to achieve energy efficiency objectives in Developing Asia, and why they have, or have not, worked.

  • Market-Based Instruments

    Governments around the world are keen to reduce the costs of energy efficiency programs and create an environment where the private sector invests in energy efficiency. Many mechanisms such as tendering schemes, energy efficiency obligations, white certificates, ESCO models etc., have been successfully used in different countries. This session will explore which of these mechanisms work well, under what circumstances, and why.


The Renewable Energy track in ACEF 2017 will cover a range of topics including energy access, market development and policy regimes. It will also cover renewables for the power sector and for end-uses and applications. The Renewable Energy Track aims to inspire a generation of new thinking around persistent problems by introducing and debating innovative yet practical solutions to address climate and energy challenges.

Abstracts should address one of the topics listed below:

  • Renewable Energy in Power System Planning: Meeting Climate and Access Objectives

    Energy access remains a priority for Asia and the Pacific, given more than 600 million people are still without access to modern forms of energy services. With the Paris Climate Agreement in force, the dynamics of lifting the region out of energy poverty must change in order to achieve climate targets. This session will focus on power system planning for both grid-connected power, as well as access for off-grid populations. The session will be designed to share new thinking and innovative practices in technologies and applications, business models, policy, and financing schemes to address the intertwined public policy objectives of addressing climate concerns and increasing energy access.

  • Business Models and Job creation from Renewable Power Deployment

    Benefitting from the rapidly improved cost-competitiveness, many renewable energy technologies for electrification, most notably solar photovoltaic (PV), present a compelling business option for private sectors in various market segments. The paradigm is shifting gradually from policy-driven to being market-driven in a growing number of countries. This session will provide insight into the role of the private sector and opportunities for job creation as part of renewable deployment plans in developing member countries (DMCs). It is hoped to develop linkages to a broader discussion on green skills for renewable energy.

  • The Emergence of Solar Rooftop PV in Developing Asia

    This session will build on the dramatic developments in the deployment and financing of solar rooftop PV in the U.S. as the potential for scale-up in Developing Asia. While the policy and regulatory frameworks for solar rooftop PV are well established in the U.S., there are significant technical and regulatory barriers that are blocking major potential investments in solar rooftop PV in countries across Developing Asia. This session will highlight examples of experience with different approaches to scaling up solar rooftop PV being planned and implemented in the Asia region.

  • Innovations for End-use Sectors: Cooking, Hot Water and Heating, and Industry

    Renewables applications for the end-use sectors are generally less developed than those for the power sectors. This session will highlight the use of renewable energy in specific applications, spanning from residential to include industrial and potentially district heating options.

  • New Generation of Renewable Energy Policies

    The new era of renewable energy development, in which the cost of renewables is reaching “grid parity”, calls for a rethink of renewable energy policies and regulatory frameworks. Countries are rapidly moving away from feed-in-tariffs and testing different approaches such as reverse auctions and simple net metering policies. Innovative frameworks and relevant schemes need to not only reflect the paradigm change in RE, but more importantly guide the further development and cost-effective deployment of renewable energy applications. This session will showcase experience and knowledge arising from the changing policy regimes and market conditions across the globe.


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.

  • 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.

  • Addressing Urban Energy Issues

    Rapid urban growth in developing countries is creating an ever-increasing demand for energy services, including that for 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.

  • 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, including engaging local communities in solving the energy access conundrum for the last mile, addressing issues of poverty, gender and social inclusion.

  • 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) energy entrepreneurs from the grassroots, especially women. This will be done through a call for nominations that will be launched on 10 February 2017. The selection will be made by a jury. Selected entrepreneurs will be invited (together with a representative from their parent organization) to attend and present at ACEF. At the same time, the parent organization will receive mentoring support through the PFAN network, in order to help them develop business plans and secure funding.

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

    Energy services are a crucial input to supporting 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, food processing, as well as for community services such as health, education, public institutions, and infrastructure.


This Thematic Track will cover prospective developments above and beyond the mainstream efforts in energy efficiency, renewable energy, and access to energy. Topics of interest include key trends and developments that are changing the energy sector, including topics such as the rapid evolution of energy storage, translating national climate targets (NDCs) into actual investments, accelerating the clean energy transition beyond the +2.7 degrees codified in the Paris Climate Agreement, and exploring food-energy-water-resilience nexus. An overarching phenomenon is the 4th industrial revolution, which is disrupting the world’s economies and will definitely disrupt energy businesses and related activities in food and water sectors.

Abstracts should address one of the topics listed below:

  • Managing the Energy Transition

    The reality of climate change and the need to increase a country’s energy autonomy and security have driven countries to initiate an energy transition from fossil fuel based to sustainable energy based resources. Germany’s Energiewende (energy transition), is one of the earliest and most visible pioneering efforts: a country with huge coal reserves and reliable nuclear power is forging ahead to dramatically increase the share of renewable energy in their energy mix. This session will bring together officials and experts from countries that have started the energy transition, to discuss the interventions and policies that are effective, and how these policies can be adapted to help developing countries to promote their clean energy agenda in their country. Examples of topics that could be addressed include:

    • What are the contextual environments suitable for renewable portfolio standards (RPS) and carbon trading to thrive?
    • What is the role of natural gas (if any) during the next 20 years in the energy balancing market?
    • What other components are needed to integrate increasing shares of variable renewable energy such as solar and wind?
    • Can large hydropower be regarded as sustainable?
    • How can NDCs be translated into actual investments?
    • How much is really needed for commitments under the Paris Accord? How much will be needed to achieve the 1.5 degrees Celsius target, given that costs continue to decline for key technologies?
    • Can “green skills” be developed fast enough to provide the human resources needed to power the energy transition?
    • What other changes in public behavior are needed?
  • Technology Innovation: Part I

    Technology will continue to advance too fast for regulatory agencies to keep up. Governments and civil society must remain engaged in policy development and dialogue to manage the transition, if for nothing else than the fact that with technological disruptions there will be winners and losers. Examples of topics that could be addressed include:

    • Can we really manage a paradigm shift, or will we mainly adapt as the 4th Industrial Revolution progresses?
    • What are the rate-limiting factors for expanding firm solar and wind in lieu of new fossil fuel or large hydropower plants?
    • Can virtual power plants -- combining distributed RE, demand response, and storage – be delivered at scale?
    • How can storage-on-wheels and other non-fossil fueled mobility solutions be integrated into the grid and everyday life?
    • Is it possible to have nimble and adaptive energy regulation in this area of rapid change in energy technologies and applications, or will regulation mainly be an impediment to progress in scaling up clean energy?
  • Technology Innovation: Part II

    Edison vs. Musk: the traditional utility model of baseload + peaking power will be obsolete if it’s not already; it is being replaced by a mix of gas + renewables + efficiency which is characterized as “forecast + balancing.” Examples of topics that could be addressed include:

    • What policy and regulatory developments are required to support rapid technological evolution?
    • The 4th Industrial Revolution is real, but to what extent will traditional human labor be eliminated from energy supply and service industries?
    • What’s happening with concentrated solar power (CSP)?
    • What are the prospects for more sustainable aviation and maritime transport solutions?
    • Do we really need breakthrough technologies, or will off-the-shelf technologies with design advances be sufficient?
  • The Food-Energy-Water-Resilience Nexus: Part I

    The interrelationships of food-energy-water- and resilience cannot be overlooked, given the fact that most developing countries which have huge energy demand growth potential are also water stressed. Who cares how hot it gets if we can’t feed 9 billion people? Potential topics in this session could include:

    • What are the prospects for climate-proof water and food production: atmospheric water production (high-tech dehumidifiers), vertical farms, GMO crops, sustainable marine fisheries?
    • How do we get adaptation benefits from projects that mainly target mitigation and vice versa? What prospects are there for scaling up such “AD-MIT” projects?
    • Small Island States: From victims of climate change to champions of resilience. Island states are going to be the proving grounds for climate resilient development whether they like it or not; the only other option is wholesale relocation of total populations, in which case there are vexing legal issues of Exclusive Economic Zone ownership, which are particularly important in the Pacific.
  • The Food-Energy-Water-Resilience: Nexus Part II

    This session will be led by IEA, and will have some emphasis on water use in energy production. Examples of topics that could be addressed include:

    • How are governments and companies identifying climate risks and building resilience into energy assets?
    • What gaps or barriers (e.g. data, policy) are creating challenges for energy operators in identifying and addressing climate risks?
    • How can best practices be transferred across the sector and to other sectors?
    • How can policy-makers and other actors facilitate implementation?
    • What international lessons and best practices can be applied to the Southeast Asia context?
    • How can modelling tools, policy lessons, and business practices be shared and transferred?
    • What are some leading examples of collaboration across energy sub-sectors and across countries?