Investors seek security to help developing countries in Asia go green

In advance of next week's WIREC global summit on clean energy in Washington, DC over two dozen Australian experts from the renewable energy industry met in Melbourne to debate the issues for clean energy investment in emerging Asian and Pacific economies.

Melbourne, February 28, 2008

In advance of next week's WIREC global summit on clean energy in Washington, DC over two dozen Australian experts from the renewable energy industry met in Melbourne to debate the issues for clean energy investment in emerging Asian and Pacific economies.

Asia was one of three regions targeted by WIREC to conduct stakeholder consultations in preparation for the summit. The Asian consultation was a collaboration between three of the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership's (REEEP) Regional Secretariats - South Asia, East Asia and Southeast Asia and the Pacific.

The Southeast Asia and Pacific consultation was hosted nabCapital and the meeting focussed on what it would take to rapidly expand renewable energy deployment in developing nations including: China, India and in the South East Asia and the Pacific region.

At the consultation, the Chairman of Hydro Tasmania, Dr. David Crean stated, "We believe WIREC will play a key role in continuing to build global policy momentum and prioritisation on the increased deployment of renewable energy technologies. The previous Ministerial events in both Bonn 2004 and Beijing 2005 helped to bring together all the renewable energy sources and potential, provided a status check on global trends in technology developments, and synthesised the various commercial and regulatory drivers needed to ensure appropriate deployment policies were developed rapidly. WIREC is the next major step and we're pleased an Australian perspective can be part of necessary international developments."

Participants at the REEEP forum included several members of the Australian Clean Energy Council, along with investors, electricity generators, policy and legal experts, federal government representatives and the US Embassy.

"The forum confirmed that the technology is ready right now, but what's needed is both political stability and long term policy and regulatory frameworks. These are fundamental to ensuring that Asia develops clean energy and a low carbon economy," said REEEP's Southeast Asia and Pacific Regional Manager, Amy Kean.

The outcomes of the consultation will become part of a broader, consolidated report that Ms.
Buyelwa Sonjica South African Minister for Minerals and Energy will be presenting at the Ministerial Meeting next week in Washington.

"A broad range of renewable energy industry representatives - including nabCapital's renewable energy financing specialists - contributed to lively discussion with common themes emerging for REEEP to take to Washington. These themes centre on regulatory framework certainty, the development of regional emission trading schemes and their potential future linkage," said nabCapital's Head of Carbon Solutions Group, Rachel O'Neill.

For more information contact:

Amy Kean
Southeast Asia and Pacific Regional Manager for REEEP
61 403 247 212

Background for Editors

The Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP) is backed by national governments, financial professionals, NGOs and business. It is uniquely placed among international initiatives to drive the integration of renewable and energy efficient systems into national and global energy policy.

The REEEP South East Asia Pacific Regional Secretariat is supported by the Australian Government and hosted by the Clean Energy Council, the Australian peak industry body for clean energy. nabCapital is REEEP's partner.

Summary of the Asian report to WIREC 2008

Author: Mark Fogarty, Chair REEEP South East Asia and Pacific

"The WIREC Asia report confirms the undisputed need for the emerging Asian economies to commit to decoupling their economic ambitions from their environmental imperatives"

Political stability and well formulated, long term policy and regulatory frameworks, coupled with appropriate incentives, work to remove uncertainty and are pre-requisites for attracting investment in renewable energy. The key to attaining these objectives is national interaction and collaboration with international and regional organizations to encourage clean energy regimes and increase skill sets amongst policy makers.

Financial incentives, and regulatory programs, should be used by government to support and promote renewable energy projects and to act as a catalyst to attract private sector funding. Regional organizations have a strategic role to play in introducing innovative financing and investment schemes, providing risk mitigation products, encouraging private sector investment and facilitating regional technology and information transfer.

Technology research and development as well as deployment can benefit from clear policy and direct government initiatives such as research and development grants, "seed" funding, and the use of public/private partnerships to support start-up businesses. The use of the expertise and financial opportunities offered by regional institutions is crucial in providing the educational and funding initiatives required to attract the further investment needed to ensure technological advancements and deployment.

Collaboration between all the stakeholders in the region is the key to surmounting the barriers to renewable energy development. There is increasing political will within the region to embrace a clean energy regime, technology is improving and reducing in cost, levels of expertise are expanding and investment capital is available. The most beneficial way to take advantage of these resources is through collaboration and knowledge sharing aimed at the adoption of global best practices. The network of regional organizations within Asia is well placed to coordinate these efforts.

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