• ADB eyes more energy efficiency initiatives

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    The Asia Development Bank (ADB) is calling on more companies in the Southeast Asia, including the Philippines, to ramp up their energy efficiency efforts.

    In a media briefing highlighting the efforts of the international electronic firm First Sumident Circuits Inc. (FSCI) to reduce its electricity cost, an ADB consultant said that the bank hopes to see more firms do the same thing.

    FSCI Senior Vice President Tim Batac said that as of now, the company has invested as much as $1.2 million for a chiller system that forms a great part in the company’s power cost reduction program.

    Currently, ADB invests more than $2.3 billion a year in clean energy projects, and most of the investment is going into projects that utilize renewable energy technologies and resources.

    ADB estimates that $11 billion of investment in end-use efficiency is needed by 2020 for Southeast Asian countries to meet their national targets for energy efficiency and greenhouse gas emission reductions.

    In early 2013, ADB initiated the Southeast Asia Energy Efficiency Initiative to support the expansion of an energy efficiency services model to drive energy efficiency investment in Southeast Asia.

    “ADB is seeking ways to strengthen its support for energy efficiency initiatives that improve the efficiency of equipment and reduce energy use, and costs in buildings and factories,” the bank said in a statement, adding that governments in Southeast Asia are increasingly recognizing energy efficiency as a policy option.

    However, the bank specified that actions taken by policymakers and the large market opportunity, the investment potential in this effort remains largely untapped despite increasing interest.

    “Actual implementation of energy efficiency projects in buildings and factories remains discouragingly low. Some of the key hurdles to scaling up investment include a lack of awareness among business leaders, and a lack of skilled experts and companies to develop and manage the projects,” ADB said.

    According to the bank, one way to address these barriers is to practice the business model called the energy efficiency services approach, which has been effective in the United States, Europe and a number of other markets.

    Energy efficiency services approach offers a full suite of services, including financing for the design and delivery of energy savings, as well as the subsequent measurement and verification of results, ADB cited.

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