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USTDA Launches Asia-Pacific Clean Energy Program

Thursday, February 27, 2014

(USTDA)  Interagency Effort Supports Clean Energy Development in Southeast Asia

Washington, D.C. - Today, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency joined the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) and the U.S. Department of State to officially launch the Asia-Pacific Clean Energy Program (ACEP). The Program is an outgrowth of the U.S.-Asia Pacific Comprehensive Energy Partnership, which President Obama announced at the East Asia Summit in November 2012 to support greater U.S. business engagement in the region's clean energy development.

ACEP will co-locate OPIC personnel with USTDA's regional office at the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok to facilitate investment in and U.S. exports for energy projects in the region. Limited access to reliable energy and power resources represents one of the largest obstacles to social and economic growth in Southeast Asia. Due to growing demand, the region will require nearly $9 trillion in energy investments by 2035. ACEP's interagency partners, as well as the Export-Import Bank of the United States, have made available $6 billion in financing to support regional energy investments and U.S. job creation.

"As part of ACEP, USTDA is leveraging U.S. private sector expertise to foster effective new partnerships with our ASEAN counterparts geared toward increasing connectivity in a variety of sectors, including energy," USTDA General Counsel Enoh Ebong noted during the launch. "Already, USTDA's program is successfully bringing together the key players in the region to exchange ideas and offer solutions in support of ASEAN economic integration objectives."

For example, USTDA is partnering with the Electricity Regulatory Authority of Vietnam and General Electric International (GE; Schenectady, NY) to develop a wind grid code for the country's electric power sector. GE is conducting a study of Vietnam's power grid and planned wind power capacity to serve as the basis for a new grid code standard that allows for the integration and interconnection of up to 6,000 MW of new wind power. This project, along with an earlier wind energy reverse trade mission for Vietnamese power developers, has already led to export sales of U.S.-manufactured goods and services.

Ultimately, ACEP will strengthen relationships with regional power developers and host country officials to set the framework for increased deployment of clean energy resources. This work will focus on power grid modernization, natural and unconventional gas development and renewable power resources to help provide affordable, secure and cleaner energy supplies for the Asia-Pacific region.