High-Level Technology Fund breaks new grounds: What we all need to know
Since it was the HLT Fund was established in 2017, it has supported 12 investment projects, 37 technical assistance projects, and 23 direct charges. As of December 2020, the Fund has received about $70 million from the Government of Japan to fund the increased use of high-level technology (HLT) in areas like climate change, smart grids, mass energy storage, energy efficiency, renewable energy, ticketing systems, intelligent transport systems, mass transit, smart cities, waste-to-energy technologies, desalination, and remote sensing technology.
Part of leveraging the use of HLT is proving their viability particularly in imperfect markets such as what can be found in most ADB developing member countries. Apart from demonstrating HLT impacts, it also develops the countries’ technological capability. This iterative process helps bring HLT to a commercial scale and helps further in its deployment.
Among the notable projects supported by the HLT Fund in the energy sector is the First Grid-Connected Battery Storage System to Improve Clean Energy Access in Pakistan. HLT supported the demonstration of the country’s first large-scale, grid-connected lithium-ion battery energy storage system to dispatch intermittent renewable energy and improve transmission network stability.
The Fund does not only help deploy HLT; it had also instigated various internal innovations in the way ADB does its work, particularly in terms of the procurement of specialized expertise and advanced equipment. The energy sector has had launched two Technology Innovation Challenges. The first one that is about to start implementation focuses on the deployment of heating and cooling technologies in Viet Nam and Indonesia and the demonstration of hybrid microgrid systems in the Philippines. The other one was launched earlier this year seeking solutions to address disease-resilient and energy-efficient centralized air-conditioning in public buildings. The call for expressions of interest is still open until 11 June 2021.