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The Asia-Pacific Regional Technical Expert Meeting (TEM): Decentralized solutions for smart energy and water use in the agri-food chain

Publication date: 
Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Experts met in Bangkok to discuss decentralized solutions for smart energy and water use in the agri-food chain at the Asia-Pacific Regional Technical Expert Meeting (TEM). The agri-food chain accounts for almost 25% of global greenhouse gas emissions, while water insecurity is projected to increase under changing climate conditions. As such, technological solutions for energy and water use in agriculture are vital to meeting ambitions on both reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to climate change.

“We need climate action from all sectors of society and from all around the world. We have the tools, mechanisms, and ambitions - we just need to translate that into action”, noted Mr. Ovais Sarmand, Deputy Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

The TEM provided an opportunity to learn about solutions that can be replicated and scaled-up across the region.

For example, the Barsha Pump, developed by aQysta is a water pump powered by water with zero emissions, no electrical components, and low maintenance costs. The pump can be placed in rivers, streams and irrigation canals and is used for both crop and livestock production.

Another solution, Claro’s solar irrigation, utilizes mobile trolley and mini grids, reducing reliance on diesel pumps and providing secondary benefits for rural electrification. The mobile trolley solution is based on a pay for use model paired with FINtech to deliver cost savings and open new areas to irrigation.

Another example is the Kingdom of Tonga’s approach to the circular economy in the agriculture sector which aims to bridge the gap between renewable energy commitments (50% penetration by 2020) and what is achievable through wind and solar PV. Making use of agricultural waste to supply energy and fertilizer to farms decreases reliance on imported fuel and increases agricultural production.

Challenges to scaling technologies discussed during the TEM include high up-front costs, and the range of location-specific circumstances. Presenters also recalled difficulties in jumping from innovation to proof of concept and in finding the lowest cost option to meet the ambitions laid out in each country's Nationally Determined Contributions.

Innovative financing mechanisms, pay for use models, and government subsidies can promote the uptake of technologies, while supportive government policies build enabling environments for innovation.

The CTCN and the Technology Executive Committee are helping to achieve this vision, supporting countries to leverage existing technologies and explore new innovations in climate change.

“The CTCN has over 500 members around the world who stand ready to support climate technology development and transfer on the frontlines of climate action”, emphasized Ms. Jaime Webbe, CTCN Regional Manager for Asia-Pacific.

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