An article by Elga Reyes,

For all the energy innovations in the 21st century, over 1.2 billion people worldwide still do not have electricity at home. And yet on any given day, only one hour’s worth of energy from the sun is enough to sustain the energy consumption of the entire world for a year.

Recognizing the huge potential for solar energy to address existing energy poverty, Swiss power and automation giant ABB recently hosted a session on solar energy on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Manila. The discussion, held on May 22, called “Sharing the sun: The future of solar energy in East Asia”, centred on advancements in solar, as well as the opportunities and challenges for this sector in the region in the context of achieving equitable progress – the theme of the WEF.

Experts on the panel highlighted Asia’s energy poverty woes, particularly in archipelago nations like the Philippines and Indonesia where millions still do not have electricity, hindering development. Policies promoting deployment of solar and innovative business models that capitalise on existing solar technologies are key factors that can drive sustainable and inclusive economies, they said.

Maxene Ghavi, head of ABB’s solar industry segment initiative and a panellist at the Manila discussion, noted that ABB supports both traditional power applications and applications for off- or microgrids, especially in Asia where energy security and access to energy is “very, very critical”.

ABB is the world’s second-largest supplier of solar inverters. It also provides products that cater to the entire range of the solar photovoltaic (PV) value chain – from generation and transmission to distribution and maintenance. Some of its specific solutions include inverters for large-scale PV power plants and grid stabilization technology that integrates renewable energy into microgrids or off-grid locations for a reliable supply of power.

ABB believes solar energy decouples economic growth from energy consumption and improves lives, especially across various appliations, said Ghavi.

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