It is estimated that energy consumption by developing countries will expand substantially. At the same time, it is predicted that a large share of energy consumption will inevitably be taken up by fossil fuel, which could be a cause of climate change. While low electrification rate is still a critical issue in developing countries, improving electric power supply and electricity access takes huge investments. The International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates that non-OECD countries need to invest $10 trillion in the electric power sector in the period up to 2035.
In such a situation, stable securement of low-cost, low-carbon energy is a very important development subject for developing countries to achieve stable social economy and sustainable growth. However, many countries face a lack of necessary techniques, know-how, and funds, and even human resources in charge of policy planning and implementation are limited. Therefore, it is essential for developing countries to obtain sufficient funds and the cooperation from advanced countries with technologies and accumulated experiences and know-hows.
Responding to the issues of the energy and power sector in developing countries, JICA is providing the following assistance, with the concept of "3Ls" policy (i.e., simultaneous attainment of Low-cost, Low-carbon, and Low-risk).
For many years, JICA has been committed to achieving better access to electric power and more stable power supply in developing countries by supporting the reinforcement of their national grids. In recent years, JICA has provided assistance for establishing an electricity master plan for Myanmar, which recently has faced rapid democratization and economic growth and required huge assistance in improving electric power supply infrastructure. Tapping into Japan's technical prowess, JICA has been assisting the development of key electric power facilities in partner countries. Such assistance includes (1) support for highly efficient coal-fired power generation in Bangladesh; (2) financial assistance for a gas-fired combined cycle power generation in Uzbekistan; (3) technical cooperation and studies for the introduction of pumped-storage hydropower generation in Sri Lanka and Turkey; and (4) support for the reinforcement of power transmission and distribution networks in Sub-Saharan African countries. Reinforcing and extending national grids will enable stable power supply to a wide range of users, including the poor, thereby contributing to human security.
Japan possesses world-class technology in geothermal power generation, which is renewable energy and stable base-load power sources. JICA provides a wide range of support, from resources development to the construction of geothermal plants in Indonesia, African Great Rift Valley countries that include Kenya, and Latin American countries, and will continue to provide and develop comprehensive support for the technical, infrastructural, scientific, and policy aspects of geothermal power generation [⇒ see Case Studies on pages 49 and 55].
Small island states, especially those of the Pacific region, depend on imported fuel (diesel) for most of their power supply. Constant high electricity tariffs, however, underscore the urgent need to improve energy security by curtailing fuel consumption. To meet this need, JICA is assisting small island states in developing a "hybrid" grid that is designed to support both more efficient diesel power generation and optimal introduction of renewable energy so that stable power supply and lower fuel consumption will be achieved at the same time. Such a grid development will also contribute to a smaller carbon footprint and better resilience to natural disasters [⇒ see the Case Study below].
JICA has also been providing technical cooperation in promoting energy efficiency on the demand side in the form of energy saving in Viet Nam, Bangladesh, and other countries. In Indonesia and Pakistan, it has been supporting policymaking in this field. Financial assistance for reinforcing power transmission and distribution systems and technical cooperation for strengthening operation and maintenance capacity for the systems in developing countries are also provided, where JICA contributes to energy efficiency by reducing the loss rates of the power supply.
In developing countries with substantial natural resource reserves, energy and mining development can produce results in a relatively short time frame compared with development of other industries serving as an engine for economic growth. Mining development also has a tremendous impact on society and the economy through infrastructure and regional development. For the sustainable development of both developing countries and the global economy, it also is extremely important to ensure a stable and sustainable supply of mineral resources from diverse sources by encouraging mining development in many countries. Against this background, there are many countries with large reserves of natural resources that have a strong desire to develop their mining industry.
A transition from the mineral resource exploration stage to the production stage requires large amounts of capital and advanced technology, which in turn calls for the entry of foreign companies into the mining industry in developing countries. However, many developing countries' governments lack knowledge of how to promote the mining industry or manage corporate activities. They have weaknesses in mining policy, legal systems and frameworks, basic geological information, and infrastructure. Political and social risks, security and conflict risks, and growing "resource nationalism," which tries to impose various regulations on ore exports and mining operations, all point to the essential need for developing countries to develop their own human resources and create employment in the industry. Developing countries are also faced with the challenge of how to translate mining development into national development in the wider context of resource management.
Keeping in mind both extending assistance to developing countries for the previously mentioned mining development issues and Japan's need to secure natural resources, JICA provides cooperation that builds a Win-Win relationship with developing countries. Led by Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), Japan's government-related institutions have formed a coordinated and structured collaborative system (a one-stop organization for securing overseas mining resources) working with JICA, and Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC) and other organizations. Within that system, JICA implements technical cooperation and human resource development that especially targets governments of developing countries.
JICA has two objectives in the mining sector: (1) to improve the investment environment in terms of both software and hardware aspects by, for example, strengthening the administrative capacity of developing countries' governments and developing peripheral infrastructure; and (2) to develop human resources. For the second objective, JICA has recently been working with Japanese universities to offer the training program in Japan, popularly known as the "Kizuna Program." The program is aimed both at allowing the participants to build a human network involving Japanese people and at strengthening relations with resource-endowed countries [⇒ see the Case Study below]. Specifically, JICA focuses on four priority areas in the mining sector:
(1) Assistance for the development of peripheral infrastructure essential to mining development, such as roads, railways, harbors, electric power, and water supply for development of peripheral utilities.
(2) Assistance involving government planning and formulating policies for legal systems, policies, implementation systems, and basic information compilation necessary for mining development and appropriate mineral resource management.
(3) Strengthening governments' administrative skills in soliciting private sector investment and implementing sustainable mining development and resource management. Specifically, JICA provides assistance related to supplying basic information necessary for resource exploration and establishing management systems.
(4) Developing mining pollution control technologies, in cooperation with Japanese universities, as appropriate, and assist with public administration of mine safety and mining environmental management.