Speeches Shim

Enhancing Development and Growth through Energy

This whole-of-government initiative grows sustainable and secure energy markets throughout the Indo-Pacific region. USAID helps our partners to expand energy access, promote energy diversification and trade, and strengthen energy security.

Launched on July 30, 2018, Asia EDGE furthers the U.S. vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific to ensure peace, stability, and growing prosperity in the region.

Spanning the California coast to the western shores of India, the Indo-Pacific region is home to the world’s fastest growing markets. Two-thirds of projected global energy growth over the next 20 years will occur in developing countries within the region. To support this growth, the region needs to upgrade and expand its energy systems, modernize its infrastructure, and build regional markets for the exchange of energy commodities. Government reforms and private sector investment are crucial to meeting these needs in a way that ensures a path to self-reliance and resilience.

“We’re helping Asian partner countries leapfrog over decades-old infrastructure and modernize their energy sectors by investing in smart grids, efficient technologies, and mobile apps for electricity payments. These projects will require high-tech solutions, the kind that U.S. companies are uniquely placed to provide.

Mark Green, USAID Administrator

Unleashing the Indo-Pacific’s Energy Potential

USAID is leveraging its technical expertise, enduring regional presence, and convening power to help the Indo-Pacific region overcome its energy constraints. Our efforts promote utility modernization through digitization and performance enhancement, foster regional energy connectivity, attract increased levels of private sector investment, and accelerate the adoption of regional and bilateral competitive energy markets.

USAID’s Asia EDGE support focuses on four primary areas:

Utility Modernization

The region’s electric and gas utilities must be financially viable in order to provide—and expand—access to affordable, reliable energy. Historically, power utilities in Asia have been state-owned and often heavily dependent on government subsidies, functioning with obsolete technologies and poor maintenance practices. USAID helps advance the financial viability and efficiency of local power utilities through the modernization and expansion of transmission and distribution systems. USAID is also fostering the adoption of cybersecurity measures and sector and regulatory reforms, such as tariff restructuring.

Increased Deployment of Energy Technologies

A secure energy future requires meeting growing demand with best-value, competitively-priced solutions, while maintaining reliability and minimizing environmental impact. USAID support to the electricity and gas sectors prioritizes least-cost, long-term planning and efficient integration of transformative technologies, including battery storage, smart grids, electric vehicles, modern gas systems, and energy efficient products and practices.

Transparent, Best Value Procurement

Open, transparent, and best-value procurement processes create a level playing field for U.S. and other companies, while allowing countries to affordably generate energy supplies. Corruption is often found in the Indo-Pacific’s energy sector procurements due to the absence of open, competitive bidding, especially for foreign suppliers. USAID promotes transparent, competitive energy procurement practices, including auctions, quality standards, and the legal and regulatory frameworks that enable a wide range of private sector participation in the energy sector.

Regional Energy Trade and Integration

Regional electricity and gas market integration offers substantial economic benefits, and can unlock billions of dollars in the regional energy market. USAID helps develop legal and regulatory frameworks that enable power and gas trade and the development of power markets, including regional power exchanges. This effort will build on and leverage bilateral initiatives, including electricity market expansion, that strengthen and prepare individual countries for regional coordination and integration. It will also focus on expanding the downstream regional market for natural gas and LNG imports.

Our Programs

USAID programs under the Asia EDGE initiative include:

Partner Countries

USAID is planning and implementing activities under the Asia EDGE initiative with:

  • Bangladesh
  • Burma
  • Cambodia
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Laos
  • Nepal
  • Philippines
  • Sri Lanka
  • Thailand
  • Vietnam

Partner Agencies

The Asia EDGE initiative is supported by USAID; Departments of State, Commerce, Energy, and Treasury; Export-Import Bank; U.S. Trade & Development Agency; and Overseas Private Investment Corporation.