Monday, June 4, 2012

ADB installs solar power project at Manila HQ

MANILA – Asian Development Bank president Haruhiko Kuroda opened Tuesday (June 5) a new rooftop solar power project that will provide clean, renewable energy to ADB’s 20-year-old headquarters in Manila.

“Using rooftops and other open spaces is an efficient way for businesses and homes to capture and use the energy of the sun,” said S. Chander, Director General of ADB’s Regional and Sustainable Development Department. “We hope other companies will follow ADB’s example.”

The 2,040 photovoltaic panels occupying 6,640 square meters on the roof of ADB’s main building will generate 613 megawatt hours of electricity per year to run a portion of the Bank’s air conditioning, lighting, and computer systems, reducing its carbon footprint.

The solar rooftop project received support from Philippine government agencies, such as the Department of Energy, the City Government of Mandaluyong, the Manila Electric Company, the Civil Aviation Authority and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

“This solar installation demonstrates that with innovative solar products and collaboration among bankable partners, solar can provide a cost-effective solution for electricity generation across Southeast Asia,” said  Zhengrong Shi, Chief Executive Officer of Suntech, which manufactured the solar panels for the ADB rooftop project.

With energy demand projected to almost double in the Asia and Pacific region by 2030, there is an urgent need to find renewable sources to generate power while at the same time reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions. Almost 700 million people in Asia and the Pacific still have no access to electricity. Lack of access to reliable energy holds back economic development in many parts of the region.

ADB has increased its investment in clean energy and energy efficiency projects in recent years. Between 2008 and 2011, ADB’s investment in such projects amounted to about $7 billion. The Bank is supporting solar energy development through its Asia Solar Energy Initiative. Launched in May 2010, the initiative aims to develop and generate 3,000 megawatts of solar power in Asia and the Pacific region within three years.

ADB has also worked hard to improve energy efficiency in its own building. In 2011, ADB received the Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) Gold rating from the US Green Building Council, making ADB’s headquarters the first building in the Philippines to be awarded LEED certification for an existing structure.

The solar project was launched to celebrate World Environment Day. Energy from the rooftop panels will help power the Bank during its annual Clean Energy Week, a gathering of public and private sector experts, investors and policymakers in the clean energy field. The event runs from 4-8 June. (ADB)

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