ISLAMABAD  – Energy demand in developing Asia is expected to grow by 2.9 per cent per year to 2035-faster than the world average of 1.6 per cent.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Wednesday released the International Energy Outlook Report which was stated that improving efficiency can help the Asian region to meet rising energy demand in a cost-effective and sustainable way.

It said energy efficiency was considered as the least expensive means of increasing energy supply because a megawatt of power capacity saved through energy efficiency costs about half or less than adding a megawatt of coal-fired generating capacity.

“Energy efficiency can increase affordability of electricity by reducing consumers’ demand, expand access by reinvesting efficiency gains to increase network access, and improve sustainability by contributing to energy security and reducing harmful environmental impacts,” the report said.

Energy efficiency is among the most inexpensive and profitable options for greenhouse gas (GHG) abatement in various global growth scenarios. Demand-side energy efficiency via the use of efficient equipment or behavioral change on the customer’s side lowers energy consumption without compromising consumer comfort or the country’s competitiveness. Supply-side energy efficiency seeks to use less energy input and produce the same or more electricity at the generation and distribution segment.

“Retrofitting plants and buildings with energy-efficient technology under a pilot program in Guangdong will lower coal use by 175,813 tons and result in energy savings of 533 gig watt hours every year,” the report said, adding, energy pricing and other market imperfections need to be addressed to propagate energy efficiency investments.