Towards a Sustainable Future

Energy Connectivity in Asia and the Pacific Region

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This report, aimed at policy makers from Asia and the Pacific, provides a historical perspective on regional energy connectivity and its implementation challenges, as well as outlining an action plan for accelerated regional energy integration to bring shared benefits to ESCAP’s member States. The report concludes that energy connectivity can increase the supply and reduce the cost of energy, while lowering its social and environmental costs and addressing the challenges of energy security. Regional cooperation in energy has been evolving mainly through five subregional clusters –– South-East Asia, Central Asia, South Asia, North-East Asia, and the Pacific. A great many resources have been spent on bringing the subregions together; however, overall results remain below the potential. One of the main reasons for the slow progress is the decision-making process for cross-border projects. Energy markets do not connect by themselves; in the next few decades, actions will be needed to build physical energy networks, institutional connectivity and, most importantly, trust between nations to meet the Region’s two most important challenges — overcoming energy poverty and mitigating climate change. Governments, policymakers, and experts must work together in partnership with the private sector to provide sustainable energy for all by 2050 by connecting Asian energy networks and building institutions of integration. ESCAP is in a unique position to lead such a transformative partnership for ensuring that regional energy connectivity creates incentive structures and institutions to deliver cost-effective energy for the entire Region. It is time to build energy connectivity for an interdependent Asia and the Pacific –– prosperous and connected –– thus ending Asian economic dependence on a single source or a single fuel.



Project CASA 1000 - High transaction costs

In March 2014, the World Bank approved assistance of $526.5 million for the implementation of the Central Asia South Asia Electricity Transmission and Trade Project (CASA 1000). The project cost was estimated at $1,170 million; it included the implementation of 750 km of 500 kV high voltage direct current transmission line, three convertor stations (1,300 MW capacity in Tajikistan and Pakistan, and 300 MW capacity in Afghanistan), 475 km of high voltage alternate current transmission line and substations, and grid reinforcement in Tajikistan. Also included in the estimated project costs was $120 million for project implementation support, community support programmes and environmental and social costs. The Islamic Development Bank has provided $250 million, the four participating governments (Afghanistan, Kyrgyz Republic, Pakistan and Tajikistan) will provide $134.5 million, and bilateral donors, including Australia, United Kingdom and the United States, have committed to fill the financing gap.


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