Asia’s Energy Challenge

Out of the 3.8 billion people in the Asia- Pacific region, 426 million have no access to electricity, while 2 billion rely on solid fuels for cooking and heating. By 2035, developing Asia’s share in primary global energy consumption is expected to increase by as much as 56%. The region is extremely dependent on imported petroleum to meet its energy needs, particularly the Pacific Islands, which is the highest in the world. Under threat from climate change and faced with growing dependence on energy imports, the Asia-Pacific Region is turning to renewables to meet its energy demand.

Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) was established to meet the dual challenge of reducing the carbon intensity of energy while making it available to everyone on the planet. SEforALL is a global platform that enables partnerships and unlocks finance to achieve universal access to sustainable energy, and pave the way to a cleaner, just and prosperous world for all.

Sustainable Energy for All Asia-Pacific Regional Hub

The SEforALL Asia-Pacific Regional Hub is led by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), with the Hub Secretariat hosted at ADB Headquarters in Manila, Philippines.

Its objective is the help SEforALL realize its 2030 Goals, which are:

  • Ensure universal access to modern energy services;
  • Double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency; and
  • Double the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix.

Since its establishment in 2014, the SEforALL Asia-Pacific Regional Hub has implemented the following activities:

  • Support the preparation of rapid assessments, country action plans and investment prospectuses.
  • Facilitate policy dialogues among stakeholders.
  • Catalyze investments in energy access, renewable energy, and energy efficiency.
  • Develop market-based approaches for the delivery and consumption of energy.
  • Build synergies and promote knowledge sharing among its stakeholders.
  • Conduct regular monitoring and evaluation of activities and initiatives of its stakeholders.

Country Level Actions

SEforALL works with the governments of focus countries to develop and coordinate Country Level Actions that help transform their energy systems.

The Country Level Action process can be broken down into three activities. First is the conduct of Rapid Assessment and Gap Analysis (RAGA). Its objective is to help determine the main challenges and opportunities in a country to become an active contributor to the 2030 Goals. The insights from the RAGA are then used to develop a second document called the Action Agenda (AA). The AA formulates a pathway for the government to systematically scale up action in priority areas and undertake strategic reforms. Based on the resources required to implement the AA, SEforALL assists governments to develop an Investment Prospectus (IP). The IP takes stock of the amount of investment required to implement the activities contained in the AA and provides a recommendation to the government on how it can mobilize its own resources and, more importantly, incentivize the private sector to contribute.

Twenty countries in the Asia-Pacific region have expressed their interest in advancing SEforALL. The Asia-Pacific Regional Hub Secretariat played an instrumental role in developing the RAGAs, AAs and IPs of the following focus countries:

  • ADB is providing assistance to the governments of Bhutan and Nepal.
  • UNDP is providing assistance to the governments of Bangladesh, Cambodia, Fiji, Malaysia, Mongolia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Armenia and Tajikistan.

Partner organizations such as the World Bank, GIZ, the European Union and the Governments of Denmark, Germany, Japan, Norway and the United states also provide active and significant support to the Country Action Process.

Sustainable Energy Center for Excellence (SECOE)

In 2015, ADB in partnership with the Sustainable Energy Association of Singapore (SEAS) established the Sustainable Energy Center for Excellence (SECOE). SECOE was established to enhance the SEforALL Regional Hub’s capability to influence the design and implementation of policies and regulations that accelerate the adoption of sustainable energy in Asia. The Singapore-based facility has become a venue for the region’s policy makers to receive training on policy, technology, and project financing matters in the sustainable energy sector.

Asia-Pacific Energy Portal

The ESCAP Asia Pacific Energy Portal offers access to a comprehensive set of indicators and policy documents related to energy and development from across the region.

Publications and Reports

Contact Us

Sustainable Energy for All Asia-Pacific Regional Hub Secretariat
Asian Development Bank
6 ADB Avenue, Mandaluyong City
1550 Manila, Philippines
[email protected]

Yongping Zhai
Technical Advisor (Energy)
Sustainable Development and Climate Change Department
Asian Development Bank

Hongpeng Liu
Chief, Energy Security and Water Resources Section
Environment and Development Division
United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific

Gordon Johnson
Regional Team Leader, Resilience and Sustainability
Bangkok Regional Hub
United Nations Development Programme