With some of the most densely populated and fastest growing economies in the world, South Asian countries have increasing energy needs. The region’s electrification rate has increased over the past 20 years: from an estimated 62 percent to upwards of 90, according to the International Energy Agency. This has advanced development in the region, but continued dominance of fossil fuel has deleterious effects on the region’s air quality and the planet’s climate.
Recently, South Asia has made substantial progress in providing reliable, clean energy to its citizens, and the region’s leaders have increased their renewable energy targets. India, for instance, achieved over 150 gigawatts (Gw) of installed renewable energy, well on its way to its Paris Agreement target. The country has dramatically increased its ambition to reach 450 Gw by 2030, but to reach this target, much remains to be done.
To support the region’s energy and climate targets, the South Asia Regional Energy Partnership (SAREP), funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), is working to improve access to affordable, secure, reliable, and sustainable energy in six South Asian countries—Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, and Sri Lanka.
As leader of the SAREP Consortium, we are working alongside regional, national, and international partners with deep expertise in clean energy, utility modernization, cross-border trade, public-private partnerships, and investment analysis and mobilization. Over the five-year life of the project (2021–2026), SAREP aims to leverage $7 billion worth of investment in power infrastructure, deploy 5,000 megawatts of clean energy, save more than 435 gigawatt-hours of energy through increased energy efficiency, and facilitate four terawatt-hours’ worth of cross-border trade.