The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has launched an Asian solar energy initiative (ASEI) to generate approximately 3,000MW of solar power over the next three years.

The ASEI aims to identify and develop large capacity solar projects. ADB plans to provide $2.25bn in finance to the initiative, which is expected to leverage an additional $6.75bn in solar power investments over the same period.

Rajat Nag, managing director general of ADB, said: “With energy demand projected to almost double in the Asia and Pacific region by 2030, there is an urgent need for innovative ways to generate power while at the same time reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Sustainable solar energy can be the clean power of the future if there are appropriate incentive and financing mechanisms in place.

“Given Central Asia’s growing demand for electricity, the availability of desert land for large- scale solar energy development, and their stated commitment to offset high carbon emissions, several countries in the region are excellent candidates for ADB support through this initiative.”

ASEI will also establish and host a solar energy forum, a knowledge-sharing platform that will track solar development projects, and discuss new solar power proposals and incentive mechanisms.

Promoting the availability and use of clean energy is one of ADB’s priorities. Last year, ADB provided nearly $1.3bn for projects with clean energy components, exceeding its $1bn target for the second year in a row. Starting in 2013, this target will increase to $2bn a year, ADB said.