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About the Thematic Tracks at ACEF 2018

Each year in June, more than 1,000 clean energy professionals from around the world convene at the headquarters of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in Manila to attend the Asia Clean Energy Forum (ACEF) and discuss the progress, status, and prospects for clean energy in the Asia region. This year, the theme of ACEF is “Harnessing Innovation to Power the Future”. Throughout the week (in the Deep Dive Workshops as well as in the sessions in the Thematic Tracks of the main forum), we would like the sessions to highlight innovations in technologies, policies, and approaches, and to showcase how innovation through collaboration is important to drive and accelerate the growth of the clean energy industry. 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. A fourth track is titled Navigating the Future. This track will be cross-cutting and will focus on big ideas that can serve as important platforms and springboards for driving the clean energy industry forward.

Guidance for Development of Abstracts

The program for ACEF is developed based on submissions of abstracts targeted at specific, predefined clean energy topics, organized in four streams (the Thematic Tracks) as mentioned above. Submissions should be based on successful (or in some cases unsuccessful!) experiences 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 the advancement of technology and energy systems; new and proven approaches to policy development through both private and public sector collaboration; investment and financing opportunities that help drive the market; community and grassroots clean energy initiatives through partnership development; creative business models and ideas that are gaining traction in Asia; and detailed case studies of best practices and lessons learned throughout the energy sector in Asia. Abstracts should address one of the topics under the Thematic Tracks listed below. Submissions must be short (no more than 150 words) and to the point.

Submitting an Abstract

The deadline for submission of abstracts is Friday 2 March 2018, at 17:00 Manila time (+8 GMT). Submissions must be short (no more than 150 words) and to the point. Abstracts should not have a lot of general theory and background. Instead, they should highlight innovations, concrete outcomes and achievements, and explain why and how the presentation will provide value to the clean energy professionals attending ACEF. What was learned? By whom and where? Who will benefit if the practice or example is expanded? How? What suggestions will be presented for expanding, adapting, scaling up, or accelerating this example?

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TRACK 1: Energy Efficiency

Track Description: Because it is nearly always the least cost energy resource and is by definition pollution-free (and actually avoids pollution), energy efficiency must be at the heart of the clean energy transition in order to ensure a safe, healthy, reliable, affordable and sustainable energy system for the future for all citizens of the world. It is the one energy resource that every country possesses in abundance and is the quickest and least costly way of addressing energy security, environmental, health and economic challenges. However, implementing energy efficiency aggressively across an economy is extremely challenging because the decisions affecting efficiency are dispersed across vast numbers of buildings and facilities and end users, even if they can often be influenced by enlightened national and sub-national policies and directives.

While energy efficiency policies are increasingly influencing the national energy trajectories and in turn the global energy system, there remains vast untapped potential. This track will explore the multiple benefits of energy efficiency policy, the challenges and innovations, with an aim to focus on how the stakeholders and practitioners attending ACEF can collaborate to achieve a greater pace and scale of efficiency improvements across the Asia region

Abstracts should address one of the topics listed below:

Topic 1: Best Practices in Developing Large Commercial and Industrial Energy Efficiency Investments in Emerging Economies

Description: The commercial and industrial sectors in emerging economies present significant energy-savings opportunities both through energy efficiency improvements and advanced technology applications. The multilateral development banks are committed to invest in climate financing. ADB has committed to double its annual climate financing to $6 billion by 2020. Out of the $6 billion, $4 billion will be dedicated to mitigation through scaling up support for renewable energy, energy efficiency, sustainable transport, and building smart cities. To achieve such an ambitious target, there is a pressing need for new and innovative approaches to investment in energy efficiency. Abstracts for this session will have will be selected based on their ability to demonstrate “measured” results in overcoming an EE barrier as well as being replicable and scalable. The type of EE Solution selected could be a program, project, technology, or service (i.e. finance, insurance, etc.).

Topic 2: Multiple Benefits of Energy Efficiency – A Focus on Air Pollution

Description: The World Health Organization estimates that globally, outdoor air pollution causes about 3 million premature deaths a year, making air pollution a significant environmental risk. Energy efficiency measures targeting outdoor and indoor air quality can have major impacts for global health; yet there are very few examples of efficiency-air quality policies in the Asia region. This session will discuss what drives governments to take action, as well as methodologies for measuring and communicating the multiple benefits of efficiency.

Topic 3: Building Energy Efficiency – A Focus on Cooling

Description: Cooling our homes, offices and cities sustainably and affordably is one of the biggest challenges facing Asia, as its population aspires to more comfortable living and working conditions. Demand for space cooling is growing fast and will increase global energy consumption unless effective policies and efficient technologies are adopted quickly and efficiently. While many discussions start with the goal of reducing the energy used for cooling equipment, long-term benefits can also be achieved by reducing the need for space cooling while still increasing comfort and health benefits. Both opportunities enable multiple benefits such as lower energy bills, fewer electricity capacity constraints and less use of climate-warming refrigerants. This session will explore space cooling and opportunities for reducing its impact on Asia’s energy system.

Topic 4: Electrification of the Transport Sector

Description: A clean, efficient and effective transport system is critical to economic growth and to the health and welfare of inhabitants of fast growing urban areas. Following the Paris Agreement, a long-term political signal was sent to decarbonise the transport sector. More than three-quarters of NDCs explicitly identify transport as a mitigation priority. As technology improves, and global transport systems become increasingly electrified, energy efficiency policies are key to minimizing rising electricity demand and limiting the impact on energy security. Several countries in Asia are setting ambitious targets for the transport sector, however, in this fast-changing market, most policymakers are unsure of what the most suitable approaches and strategies are and how to integrate these with energy efficiency policies. New and innovative technologies such as electric vehicles have the potential to reduce emissions and alleviate variability in energy supply if implemented with energy efficiency measures. This session will provide an overview of innovative policies and strategies, identify the challenges and opportunities supported by relevant case studies and provide key insight and recommendations for policymakers and business leaders in Asia.

Topic 5: Digital Transformation and Innovation

Description: Over the coming years, digital technologies are set to make energy systems around the world more connected, intelligent, efficient, reliable and sustainable. Stunning advances in data, analytics and connectivity are enabling a range of new digital applications such as smart appliances and smart building management systems. Policy and market design are vital to steering digitally enhanced energy systems onto an efficient, secure, accessible and sustainable path. Through presentation of specific applied technologies, applications, and business approaches, this session will explore innovative technologies for digitalization in the end-use sector, and the opportunities that this creates brings to design and deliver make programmes more effectively, and at lower cost.

TRACK 2: Renewable Energy

Track Description: Since 2011, more than half of capacity additions in the global power sector have been from renewables. With continued cost reductions, greater levels of technological maturity, and more stable national policy and regulatory environments, global momentum for renewable energy continues to rise. Innovation has played, and will continue to play, a critical role in this growth. This track will cover areas of Asia’s renewable energy landscape, including government policy and regulatory design, business model innovation, sustainable urban energy solutions, and the future power grid.

Abstracts should address one of the topics listed below:

Topic 1: Government Policy and Regulatory Design: Perspectives from Different Stakeholders

Description: With the improved cost-competitiveness and the demand for clean energy, the economic case for renewable energy, especially electrical power generation, is now firmly established. But successful scale-up depends on how governments respond through policy and regulatory frameworks. How can governments drive down renewable energy purchase costs while also ensuring financial health of the sector? How can governments address other market conditions to ensure bankability and drive down the cost of financing? What policy levers do governments use to address resistance from incumbent utilities who risk deep revenue losses from installation of decentralized energy systems? How do the financial markets respond in the cost and types of financing available to project developers? This session will share perspectives from stakeholders, followed by discussion around the key elements of policy and regulatory design.

Topic 2: Business Model Innovation: Learning from Examples

Description: In some cases, business model innovation is key to catalyzing the growth of new technologies in the marketplace. For instance, leasing schemes have enabled the explosive rooftop PV market. In other cases, new disruptive technologies can have a profound impact on the existing business models causing other industries to adapt. For instance, the virtual power plant model is challenging the utility business models. For this session, we are seeking abstracts covering innovative business models (for both utility-scale and distributed renewable energy generation), with a focus on what can be learned from them, and whether such models are transferable and scalable (i.e. can be readily expanded to other markets and/or technologies).

Topic 3: Sustainable Urban Energy Solutions: Role of Renewables

Description: With the projected urbanization in the next three decades, urban residents would grow by 64% from today’s 4 billion, and by 2050 3 out of 4 people in the world will inhabit an urban environment. Without changes to how urban environments provide services, energy use in these areas will experience massive growth as will global emissions and air pollution. The potential for renewables to contribute to urban resilience has been demonstrated through use of a range of technologies including solar PV, biogas and solid biomass, heat pumps, electric vehicles, and energy storage. This session will discuss the relationship between renewables, energy efficiency, infrastructure development, and urban transportation, and how renewables can and will be an important part of the solution in delivering climate resilience and sustainability for cities.

Topic 4: The Future, Decentralized Power Grid: Implications for Utilities and Energy Consumers

Description: The share of renewable electricity in the power mix is growing, and much of this is decentralized compared to existing fossil generation capacity. It is inevitable that the structure of the power industry and the nature and role of power producers will fundamentally change. As this happens, decentralized and variable renewable energy systems, will be coupled with innovative energy storage technologies, greater integration of digitalized devices to support better energy management systems, creative business models, and flexible markets. As the future power grid becomes more decentralized, diverse and distributed, what are the implications of this transformation for utilities and energy consumers? This session will explore the future roles of utilities and consumers and discuss how they should prepare for the future.

TRACK 3: Energy Access

Track Description: While significant progress has been made in improving energy access, it still remains a major challenge to narrow the gap to achieve universal energy access. According to the 2017 Global Tracking Framework Regional Assessment Report, 420 million people in the Asia-Pacific region lack access to electricity and nearly half of the region’s population are still without access to clean cooking. The sessions in this track will cover the region's energy access situation, analyze the range of barriers, and offer solutions pertaining to policy, regulation, technology, and financing. The discussions in this track will highlight approaches that have worked and may be replicated by energy access professionals, stakeholders, and partners across the region.

Abstracts should address one of the topics listed below:

Topic 1: Energy Access for the Urban Poor

Description: The session will highlight the energy situation (including cooking, electricity and heating) of those located in urban and peri-urban areas, as well as the issues and challenges faced by households and service providers to achieve access to safer, cleaner and legal sources of energy. The session will also present approaches to address these problems.

Topic 2: Innovative Solutions for Clean Cooking and Heating

Description: Breakthroughs across the supply chain of the clean cooking and heating sector have been emerging independently across the Asia-Pacific region. This session will highlight and analyze proven commercial solutions, and deconstruct how they can be adapted or replicated in the rest of developing Asia.

Topic 3: Meeting the Challenges and Barriers of Energy Access

Description: This session will feature project examples highlighting a range of specific challenges and barriers (spanning policy, regulation, technology, and finance) that affect the implementation of energy access initiatives. It will explore how these barriers have been addressed to enable projects to succeed in providing affordable energy access in a sustainable manner.

Topic 4: Transformative Technology Solutions for Energy Access

Description: This session will showcase how innovative technologies have been employed to improve energy access, taking into consideration factors such as existing policies and regulations, the capacity of households to pay, the potential for livelihood improvement, energy consumption patterns, and improvements in the efficiency of energy supply.

TRACK 4: Navigating the Future

Track Description: We live in the 4th Industrial Revolution fueled by an unprecedented level of technology and business innovation; global access to technology, natural resources, and goods and services; and social digitalization. Despite this apparent progress, developing nations and communities within them continue to experience overwhelmingly unfavorable conditions that hinder sustainable growth, health benefits, social empowerment and wealth generation.

The key imperative is to effectively address current future development needs at the necessary scale. This will entail a combination of the following ingredients:

  • Access to 24/7 cost-effective, secure and flexible infrastructure across the entire economic and social value chain (energy, water, transportation, waste, security, etc.).
  • Access to processes, tools and capabilities to support multi-sided markets promoting local, community and family microbusinesses, peer-to-peer transactive capabilities, etc.
  • Access to mobile and digital presence overcoming many of the challenges associated with the remote communities and their exclusion from market, financial and technology extension services and capabilities.

The Navigating the Future Track will (a) discuss and showcase step-change innovation that is shaping the future, while also (b) discussing and showcasing new disruptive approaches across industries, markets, and business value chains that define a “new normal”, while focusing these discussions on Asia’s dynamic energy sector.

Abstracts should address one of the topics listed below:

Topic 1: Disrupt or Be Disrupted – Digital Darwinism and Its Impact on Energy Systems

Description: During this session, industry leaders, visionaries and experts will present their ideas and experience in the context of a transformational trend called “Digital Darwinism”. Digital Darwinism is defined as the societal and technology adoption that is evolving (often leap-frogging) much faster than the business, regulation/policy ecosystem.That means, historical, large technology and business investments are becoming “obsolete” across the entire value chain (demand – supply) long before its intended end of lifetime. What is the societal, community, business, industry “cost” of NOT embracing the future? For this session, the focus will be on trends within and outside the energy sector, and highlight the risk of past and current development approaches and new approaches that are “future proof”.

Topic 2: From Asset Ownership to Shared Economy

Description: According to market researchers, by 2025, the majority of energy companies in the world will not own ANY infrastructure and/or generation assets. We are moving away from the era where large (traditional) corporate and/or government balance sheets are required to fund cross-industry innovation. The new energy value chain will be “transaction centric” enabled by multi-sided markets (peer-to-peer, localized, and on-demand transactions). The competitive technology landscape is not any more about traditional technology competition but about non-energy stakeholders entering the market with innovative new service-based solutions. For this session, speakers will focus on how to demonstrate shared-economy solutions inside and outside the energy sector, can describe how this shift is already happening and how it can support an accelerated clean energy transition.

Topic 3: Tools and Products to Take Us to the Future:

Description: It will require creativity and robust foresight to addressing immediate energy sector needs while also planning for future needs in an ever-evolving social and technical landscape. The latest technologies in electricity generation, assessment and planning tools such as GIS mapping and Big-Data as well as the digitalization of many existing technologies can meet this challenge. The focus for this session will be on entrepreneurs, companies and service providers who can highlight technologies that can deliver a step change in energy system services. Speakers will discuss the benefits to, and impacts on, incumbent companies (and organizations) who are currently meeting these needs.

Topic 4: Transforming From the Old to the New in Energy Systems

Description: The “economies of scale” paradigm that guided development of existing electricity systems, refineries and transportation systems was based on a rational technical and economic framework. Comparisons between digital economies and asset heavy-infrastructure often oversimplify the rate of change possible in energy systems. This creates uncertainty in planning energy systems, where there is an inherent conflict and “messiness” arising between stakeholders in the sphere of technology, business and policy. To manage this uncertainty, it will require flexible planning that can evolve alongside technology and business model innovation. Imagining the future might be easy… but getting there will be the challenge! For this session, the focus will be on speakers who can articulate the challenges of transitioning to “NEW” energy systems and and solutions that are adapted from, or evolve from, conventional past and current approaches and thinking.

Submit your abstract here