Manila, Philippines [RenewableEnergyAccess.com] Asian Development Bank (ADB) is promoting the development of renewable energy in Pakistan through a multitranche financing facility of up to US$510 million. The first program under the facility will finance a set of small to medium hydropower plants prepared by Northwest Frontier Province and Punjab.“Small- to medium-sized hydropower plants offer the greatest renewable energy potential for Pakistan, while possibilities also exist in promoting greater use of wind, solar, and biomass power,” said Piya Abeygunawardena, ADB’s team leader for the project. The program, officially called the Renewable Energy Development Sector Investment Program, will expand the country’s power supply, especially in rural areas, sufficient to serve about 600,000 new domestic connections of 4.8 million people. It will also improve reliability and quality of supply. Pakistan’s production capacity needs are projected to reach 162,590 megawatts (MW) by 2030, from 15,500 MW in 2005. While coal, oil, and gas is expected to meet much of the future demand, there is also enormous scope for more environment friendly options. Renewable energy accounts for only 180 MW of Pakistan’s present power output. The multitranche financing facility will have a life of 10 years to 2017. Each loan under the facility would be at least $50 million and be used to partially finance renewable energy development projects.