Bangkok/New Delhi: Asian Development Bank (ADB) Vice-President Xiaoyu Zhao on Monday said that Asia must manage its energy security and reduce carbon emissions to sustain its
"impressive" growth momentum.

Saying that "Asia could account for half of global output, trade, and investment by 2050," Zhao said Asia should innovate to move away from the traditional, high-resource, high-carbon development path toward sustainable, low carbon growth".

He said to sustain its impressive growth momentum, Asia must manage its energy security.

Zhao was speaking at Bangkok at the opening of the 3rd meeting of the Asia Solar Energy Forum, a part of the Asia Solar Energy Initiative, established in May 2010 with support
from ADB.

The aim of Asia Solar Energy Initiative is to increase the overall electricity output from solar power to 3-5 per cent in the near future from 0.25 per cent at present.

The ultimate goal is to provide solar energy at a cost equal to, or lower than, electricity from the grid, Zhao said.

The Asia Solar Energy Initiative initiative aims to boost solar power use in the region by identifying and developing suitable projects.

There is "significant potential" for solar energy in Asia as many countries in the region have a natural solar energy advantage given they have good sun light and have large areas of land unsuitable for other uses, ADB said in a statement.

But owing to lack of suitable project financing mechanisms, and knowledge gaps around 900 million people in developing Asia have no access to electricity.

Besides, many others in remote areas pay very high prices for power that is typically generated by fossil fuels, it said.

Promoting clean, renewable energy is one of ADB's highest priorities.

In 2010 it invested USD 1.8 billion in clean energy, exceeding its USD 1 billion target for a third year in a row. From 2013, the target will rise to USD 2 billion a year, the ADB statement added.