Asia-Pacific National Innovation Systems
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National Sustainable Energy Strategies

Background

Energy efficiency and renewable energy technology and products remain largely underdeveloped and unaffordable for vast populations in various developing countries, least developing countries (LDCs), landlocked developing countries (LLDCs) and small island developing states (SIDS). However, these are imperative to strengthening energy security, resolving energy poverty, improving energy access and health conditions, and addressing climate change for sustainable development. A recent assessment of the region’s progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) indicate that many countries would be unable to achieve most goals and some countries may not achieve the critical goal of reducing extreme poverty and hunger by 2015 as planned. Some 19 million people have fallen into poverty in 2010 due to the resurgence of food and fuel price inflation, and a further 42 million are expected to remain poor if inflationary trends continue. Energy deprivation, often cited as a major cause of persistent poverty, is likely to get worse under such conditions, adding to the ranks nearly a billion people without access to electricity and 1.7 billion depending on traditional biomass fuels within the Asia-Pacific region.

In December 2010, the United Nations General Assembly declared 2012 the ‘International Year of Sustainable Energy for All’, recognizing that “.....access to modern affordable energy services in developing countries is essential for the achievement of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and sustainable development.” Responding to this declaration and various resolutions of its member states, ESCAP implemented a United Nations funded project (2012-2014) aiming to strengthen governance capacities of policy makers in developing countries – especially in LDCs, LLDCs and SIDS – to increase the affordability of sustainable energy options in Asia and the Pacific through South-South cooperation.

APCTT-ESCAP, under this project, focused on developing the national strategies of Indonesia and Lao People’s Democratic Republic to assist them develop policies and other frameworks for the development of sustainable energy. The APCTT-ESCAP component of the project began with the development of a national assessment framework to collect and organize relevant information that focused on the national scenario for sustainable energy, technology enabling environment and innovation ecosystem, business enabling environment and ecosystem, business models for sustainable energy technology (SET) delivery, socio-economic factors, South-South Cooperation and case studies. The draft framework was introduced to and discussed with the national stakeholders at national workshops held in Indonesia and Lao People’s Democratic Republic. The reviewed framework was used by national consultants to provide technical inputs for preparing the national strategy papers for the two countries. Based on the findings of the assessment and learnings from experiences of other countries, draft national strategy reports of Indonesia and Lao People’s Democratic Republic were developed. These draft reports were later discussed, deliberated, reviewed and finalized in national consultative workshops held in both countries.

The strategy reports include: (a) assessment of current national enabling environment (policy, institutional framework and key actors of technology innovation) of sustainable energy; (b) sustainable energy options; and (c) national strategies to strengthen the technology enabling environment and innovation ecosystem for the promotion and adoption of sustainable energy technologies to increase the affordability with emphasis on South-South cooperation. A study tour of senior policy makers from Lao People’s Democratic Republic was also organized to India, Nepal and Thailand to brainstorm with the policy makers, regulators, renewable energy experts, technology promoting agencies and private businesses about various aspects of policy making, regulatory mechanisms and renewable energy technologies.

Indonesia

Lao People’s Democratic Republic