New Delhi, India (BBN)- The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) have announced a “Lighting for All” platform to help provide clean and affordable electricity to 50 million people who currently rely on expensive and highly pollutant fuels for their lighting needs.

An estimated 800 million people in the Asia and Pacific region are not connected to distribution grids and must instead rely on inefficient, ineffective and expensive fuel-based alternatives such as biomass, kerosene, and diesel.

The “Lighting for All” platform, which is a part of the ADB-supported “Energy for All
Partnership,’’ was announced on the sidelines of the Delhi International Renewable Energy Conference. It brings together business, governments, and civil society to rapidly increase access to modern energy among the region’s poor.

The platform will encourage the replication and expansion of proven business models that supply low-cost solar products to consumers living “off grid.” There exists a huge potential market for clean and affordable energy, as poor households currently spend an estimated $38 billion globally on kerosene and other flame-based lighting sources.

“Lighting for All” will begin its program in a handful of countries, which are likely to include Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, and Lao PDR before scaling up elsewhere in the region, a joint press statement said on Friday.

ADB has invested $1.2 billion since 2008 in a wide range of initiatives to provide access to electricity and modern fuels, as well as projects that it will invest $250 million in off grid electricity and lighting in Asia and the Pacific over the next 5 years.

BBN/SSR/SI-29Oct10-4:53 pm (BST)