Deep Dive Workshop on Energy Access Using Innovative Mini-Grid Solutions

Friday, 1 November 2019
Room 4713, Level 4
Sands Expo and Convention Centre
Marina Bay Sands


The Asia and the Pacific region is home to 60 per cent of the world's population – some 4.3 billion people. Approximately 9.8%, or about 421 million people remain without access to electricity, and millions more only have access to sub-par connections, relying on costly, inefficient and polluting diesel generators to provide power. In the Philippines alone, the amount of diesel generators is estimated to be over 400 MW in over 320 off-grid areas. Out of the people currently without electricity access, more than 95% live in four countries: Indonesia (23 million), Myanmar (22 million), Philippines (11 million), and Cambodia (6 million). 1 Almost 93% of this energy poor population resides in rural areas.2


  1. To discuss the factors and innovative business models and finance approaches, using technologies available, that could unlock additional investments in mini- grids, especially by the private sector, and create a modern and sustainable 21st century mini-grid industry as a viable solution to providing energy access in Asia and the Pacific Region.
  2. To assess the roles of both public and private sector and determine how they can work together to achieve the common goal of attaining universal energy access by year 2030.


Clean energy mini-grids have been identified as the least-cost option for 44% of the people3 without electricity in Asia-Pacific and is hence one of the most-important sub-sectors to focus on to achieve a cleaner energy mix for the region. A clean energy mini-grid can supply an entire rural community with enough energy for basic needs, while generating enough power for productive uses. In rural areas, clean energy mini-grids can power the local economy, enabling post-harvest processing - such as grain mills, refrigeration, and water pumping amongst other beneficial tasks.4

Yet, in Southeast Asia, for example, the market in mini-grids for energy access is still relatively immature and financial commitments for decentralised energy solutions are very modest, amounting to USD 200 million per year or only one percent of total trackable finance for electricity committed in 2013-14 across the high-impact countries.5

This workshop therefore becomes imperative, especially in the light of ADB’s Strategy 2030, which directs the bank to sustain its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty and expand its vision to achieve a prosperous, inclusive, resilient and sustainable Asia and the Pacific. This is aligned with UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG 7), which aims to achieve universal access to energy by 2030 with the underlying goal of eradicating poverty.



Session 1:  

Challenges and Risks in Deploying Renewable Energy Mini-Grid Technologies

Moderator:  Ms. Rebecca Symington, Executive Director, Mlinda


  • Ms. Dipti Vaghela, Co-founder and Manager, Hydro Empowerment Network (HPNET)

  • Mr. Debajit Palit, Director and Senior Fellow,
    The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI)
  • Mr. Richard Harrison, CEO, Smart Power Myanmar


Session 2:

Government Role: Policies and Regulation to accelerate deployment of Renewable Energy Mini-grids

Moderator:  Mr. Peter Godfrey, Managing Director – Asia Pacific,
The Energy Institute


  • Mr. Marc Loiue Olap, OIC-Division Chief, Rural Electrification Administration and Management Division, Electric Power Industry Management Bureau, Department of Energy, Philippines

  • Mr. Chaitanya Chaudhary, Engineer/Mini-Grid, Alternative Energy Promotion Center, Nepal

Session 3: 

Private Sector Role: Innovations & Success Stories in the Development of Sustainable Mini-Grid Projects

Moderator:  Ms. Ruchi Soni, Senior Energy Specialist, Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL)


  • Mr. Hyung- Su Kim, Senior Manager, New Business Department, Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO)


  • Ms. Malin Östman, Manager (Project Development), Wärtsilä Singapore


  • Mr. Jaya Wahono, President & Director, Clean Power Indonesia


  • Ms. Urvi Naik, Monitoring, Learning & Evaluation Associate, Mlinda Foundation

Session 4: 

Innovations in Finance: Creating a 21st Century Mini-Grid Sector

Moderator:  Mr. Dae Kyeong Kim, Senior Energy Specialist (Smart Grids), Asian Development Bank (ADB)


  • Mr. Mikael Melin, Senior Energy Access Specialist, Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL)


  • Ms. Surabhi Visser, Head of Investments, Sunfunder


  • Mr. Kapila Subasinghe, Vice-President (Specialized Project Lending)/Head of Consulting, Development Finance Corporation of Ceylon (DFCC Bank)


  • Ms. Ruth Ramirez, OIC, Regulatory Affairs Office, National Electrification Administration, Philippines