The SASEC countries are going through a phase of economic transformation fueled by a dramatic increase in energy consumption. The demand for energy has risen rapidly in the past decade and is expected to continue in this decade and beyond. Collectively, South Asia has made good progress in providing electricity access to its hardest-to-reach populations. However, expanding reliability and availability of clean, affordable power remains crucial to consolidating the developmental gains from improved access. The region remains characterized by some of the lowest per capita energy consumptions globally. South Asia is endowed with rich natural and demographic resources, but also confronts multiple development hurdles such as: (i) poor energy security as a consequence of heavy dependence on fossil fuels, particularly coal and oil; (ii) inadequate and undersized infrastructure affecting energy reliability, efficiency, and safety; (iii) climate change; and (iv) limited access to capital arising from policy uncertainty and regulatory barriers.
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