South Asia Regional Task Force formed to promote use of renewable energy

A South Asian Regional Task Force (RTF) to promote use of renewable energy in the subcontinent has been formed to “facilitate public private partnership (PPP) to exchange information and views in an open atmosphere for developing specific projects in South Asia”.

Minister of Housing and Environment Mohamed Aslam called for the formation of a task force at the third meeting of the Asia Solar Energy Forum held in Bangkok, Thailand earlier this year, organised by the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

Addressing participants at the first meeting of the RTF currently taking place in Jodhpur, India, Minister Aslam said that the government’s goal was to generate 60 percent of power used in the Maldives from solar energy. Projects have been planned for three islands and are ready for implementation, he said.

In a statement to the RTF’s first newsletter, Aslam noted that solar energy power has “the best potential to reach grid parity in a timely manner.”

“Although the private sector has a great appetite to enter South Asia market, noting the strong commitment of the host countries’ governments, there are information and perception gaps on the policy and regulatory framework, technology transfer, and financial aspects,” reads Aslam statement. “To overcome these barriers, the close coordination, communication, and collaboration in an open atmosphere are needed at the stages of designing, construction and implementation among the policy makers, regulators, utilities, private sectors, e.g., technology providers, developers, and financiers, multilateral and bilateral agencies.

“RTF is to be formulated in order to exchange information and views among the various stakeholders to design, develop, and implement specific projects in a timely manner. RTF should be independent, not-for-profit, non-partisan, non-political and technology neutral. In this regard, we welcome if Asian Development Bank can participate in RTF, as an honest broker.”