ADBI official forecasts renewable share in Central Asian energy (Exclusive)

Baku, Azerbaijan, March 17

By Farhad Daneshvar - Trend:

An official with the Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI) has forecasted that renewable sources would account for 20 percent of total energy generated in the Central Asia region over the coming decades.

“Some international organizations including the Asian Development Bank have forecasted that renewable energy will account for about 30 percent of the total energy generated in the region but I find this too optimistic,” Dr. Farhad Taghizadeh-Hesary Senior Assistant to Dean and CEO of the Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI) told Trend on the sidelines of a seminar in Baku.

“The realization of this depends on the prices of oil and other energy carriers. If the current tendency of cheap oil continues, it would be considered as a risk to the development of renewable energies. Those who express optimistic views over the figure believe that the high pace of the development of technology would help reduce the costs of power generation from renewable resources,” he added.

“I believe that the realistic number for the share of renewables from the energy basket of the region in the coming decades would be 20 percent,” Farhad Taghizadeh-Hesary said.

The ADBI official further urged the oil-rich countries to refrain from using fossil fuels as energy carries in the coming two decades.

“In my opinion oil producers should stop using oil as an energy carrier by 2040. We are capable of generating our required power from renewable sources. This does not mean that oil will become useless for those countries that enjoy fossil energy resources. Oil and gas should be used as raw materials for feeding petrochemical industry,” Taghizadeh-Hesary stated.

Asian Development Bank is the second largest development bank in the world with 60 state-members and a capital of $150 billion based in Manila.

The research center of the bank namely Asian Bank Development Institute (ABDI) is headquartered in Tokyo, Japan which has ranked second among the world's government-affiliated think tanks, after the World Bank's Development Research Group.

The ADBI on 12-13 March organized a 2-day course-based training program, “Achieving Energy Security in Central Asia: Role of Renewable Energy”, for officials from 11 state-members of the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (Carec) in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Pakistan, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, China, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan and Mongolia are among the main members of the Carec.

Farhad Taghizadeh-Hesary suggests that the accessibility to energy is a major component of energy security, in particular, the electricity accessibility.

"Unfortunately, over 700 million individuals in the Asia Pacific still gain no access to the electricity and a considerable part of this figure live in Central Asia particularly in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Most of these people live in remote and mountainous regions so there is no chance to connect them to the electricity grid. Therefore coming up with a solution to provide them with access to electricity is needed. Renewables in this situation appear as a main solution, for instance, the implementation of off grid-solar projects," he said.

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