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World’s first cleantech exchange launched in Singapore

The Asian Development Bank on Friday launched the world's first platform to facilitate knowledge sharing on cleantech and renewable energy between developed countries and emerging Asian economies.

To accelerate the adoption of low-carbon technologies in Asia, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has set up the world’s first online marketplace that will link global cleantech companies with prospective clients in the region. 

The new initiative, known as IPEx Cleantech Asia, will be based in Singapore and spur the growth of cleantech in Asia by enabling owners of low carbon technology to sell their ideas to emerging markets in the region.

The service, which will eventually be conducted through an online platform that is still being set up, will help cleantech sellers and clients identify potential sales deals and assist with legal, financial, and patent-related matters.

Launched on Friday at the sidelines of the UN climate change conference in Lima, Peru, the platform will be operated by Singapore-based clean energy consulting firm ReEx Capital Asia. ADB estimated that each sale conducted through the marketplace is likely to be worth between US$2 million to $5 million.

ReEx Capital Asia’s chief executive Yanis Boudjouher said that the platform would “proactively bring together low carbon technologies and those ready to finance and acquire them”.

Potential customers could include manufacturers, project developments and governments, while sellers are likely to be innovation design companies, research laboratories and multinationals selling intellectual property rights, said ADB.

Global energy powerhouse DNV GL’s Clean Technology Centre will provide technical and policy advisory services to the platform.

Sanjay Kuttan, director of DNV GL’s Clean Technology Centre, told Eco-Business that this new project “brings down barriers for the deployment of new technologies”. The project’s priority is to scale up the number of deals, he added.

We need a swifter flow of tested and up-and-coming low-carbon technologies to the region so that it can mitigate and adapt to the changing climate.

Bindu Lohani, vice-preident for knowledge management and sustainable development, Asian Development Bank

Energy demand in Asia is projected to more than double by 2035, according to ADB. However, the adoption of renewable and low-carbon technology is overshadowed by the use of fossil fuels to meet this growing demand.

Bindu Lohani, ADB vice president for knowledge management and sustainable development, stressed the need for “a swifter flow of tested and up-and-coming low-carbon technologies to the region so that it can mitigate and adapt to the changing climate”.

The market potential for these clean technologies in Asia is estimated to be between US$20 billion and US$50 billion a year. The World Bank estimates that it will take up to US$30 billion a year to shift Asia’s emerging economies to low-carbon technology use.

ADB’s climate change specialist Jiwan Acharya noted that Asia Pacific is also the world’s most vulnerable region to climate change, and that “greater access to climate technologies and financing would help put the region on a low-carbon path”. The benefits of this would be felt globally, he added.  

In its pilot phase, IPEx Cleantech Asia will focus on solar, energy storage, energy efficiency, and waste to energy technologies. The platform’s operators and ADB will spend the next three months designing an online marketplace that will connect buyers and sellers and conduct the technology transfers.

Over time, IPEx, which is co-funded by ADB, the Japanese government, the Global Environment Facility and the Belgium-based VITO-Flemish Institute of Technological Research, is expected to evolve into an independent business. It was not disclosed how much this initiative cost.

“We are committed to making a positive impact on developing Asia… through this pilot and beyond,” said REex Capital Asia and DNV GL in a joint statement.

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