[vc_row css=”.vc_custom_1565542682041{margin-right: 0px !important;margin-left: 0px !important;}”][vc_column css=”.vc_custom_1565542696462{padding-right: 0px !important;padding-left: 0px !important;}”][vc_single_image image=”9530″ img_size=”large” el_class=”banner-event”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css=”.vc_custom_1565542751414{margin-right: 0px !important;margin-left: 0px !important;}”][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″ css=”.vc_custom_1565622195563{padding-bottom: 50px !important;}”][vc_column_text el_class=”title-event”][post_title][/vc_column_text][vc_column_text el_class=”date-venue-news”]Singapore, 20 January 2021

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text el_class=”text-par-news”]Asia is the most populous region in the world and home to the largest emerging economies. Energy demand will continue to grow over the next few decades, creating a significant challenge to diversifying a carbon-intensive energy supply. China, Japan, and the Republic of Korea aim to reach carbon neutrality by mid-century, and ASEAN nations have a collective target to reach 23 percent renewable energy in the primary energy supply by 2025, as well as robust energy efficiency and conservation goals.

On 20 January 2021, participated at the first SIEW Energy Insights Webinar Series – which organised in partnership with Atlantic Council, Beni Suryadi, Manager of Power, Fossil Fuel, Alternative Energy and Storage of the ASEAN Centre for Energy (ACE), who are also the Project Manager of the ASEAN Climate Change and Energy Project (ACCEPT), joined the discussion with speakers from Institute of Energy Economics, Japan (IEEJ), Asian Development Bank (ADB) and InfraCo Asia to discuss what financial incentives, policy frameworks, and regional efforts are necessary to accelerate decarbonisation progress in East and Southeast Asia? What is the path ahead for the low carbon energy transition as we recover from the pandemic? How can we collaboratively develop solutions to ensure a resilient and sustainable energy system? What are the game changers and innovations ahead that will allow us to balance reliability, sustainability and cost competitiveness?the first SIEW Energy Insights Webinar Series

The webinar, which is also part of the Atlantic Council Global Energy Forum 2021, was moderated by Margaret Jackson, Deputy Director for Climate and Advanced Energy, Global Energy Center, Atlantic Council.

Below is the original transcript version. The actual version is a bit different but the main messages remained the same.

Opening Questions

Margaret Jackson: What are the key takeaways from the 6th ASEAN Energy Outlook for how the region can meet its energy needs by 2040?

Beni Suryadi: As a start, for any of you who are not familiar with the 6th ASEAN Energy Outlook yet, it is an official study by the ASEAN Centre for Energy (ACE), which was endorsed at the 38th ASEAN Ministers on Energy Meeting (AMEM) – the highest level of energy cooperation meeting in the Southeast Asia region – November last year. It was jointly developed with the officials and energy experts from all of 10 countries in the region, as this reflects the countries’ desire to understand their current energy landscape and explore different opportunities and possibilities as a nation as well as part of regional cooperation from today up to 2040.

Southeast Asia region, or also commonly referred by the name of ASEAN, home to almost 650 million people and have a combined GDP of more than 7 trillion USD. The region with its shift from the agricultural sector to industrialisation is becoming one of the global growth drivers and important economic force in the world. It is a diverse group, but collectively, a growing economic force: even after accounting for the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the region’s GDP is still projected to nearly triple by 2040.

Fuelling that growth will require significant amounts of energy. This will lead to a significant rise in energy demand.

Today, many countries in the region still depend heavily on fossil fuels for energy, in particular oil, natural gas and coal. In all scenarios that were modelled under the AEO6, by 2040, fossil fuels continue to provide the majority of the energy mix.

However, the countries in the region have made a commitment towards sustainable energy, both at the national level and regional level. Key choices will determine the size and makeup of ASEAN’s future energy because as energy demand is evolving, policy choices can shape it further.

Renewable energy development needs to be accelerated to meet the regional aspirational target for increasing the component of renewable energy to 23% by 2025 in the ASEAN energy mix, including through increasing the share of RE in installed power capacity to 35% by 2025. RE can provide a significant share of electricity, but enabling measures are key.

It’s also time for ASEAN to raise the bar on energy efficiency. ASEAN has surpassed its previous target on energy efficiency. Hence, now it sets the updated target to reduce energy intensity by 32% in 2025 based on 2005 levels and encourage further energy efficiency and conservation efforts, especially in the transport and industry sectors.

Yes, substantial investment is required, but it will provide multiplier benefits; create jobs and reduce the social cost of energy.

Questions for Moderated Q&A

Prompt 1: What is the path ahead for the low carbon energy transition as we recover from the pandemic?

Margaret Jackson: What are the different ways that ASEAN nations are addressing the post-COVID economic recovery? How are initiatives, such as the ASEAN Climate Change and Energy Project, helping countries closely align energy policies with positive climate outcomes?

Beni Suryadi: In many forms, COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the energy sector and undermined various efforts. Most of the countries now are pursuing their economic recovery. To as much as the country wish this will be a green recovery, we must also understand that the situation and challenge by each individual country are different.

So, in the context of the region, at ASEAN, we also need to ensure this post-COVID economic recovery which shall be translated into a just energy transition that no one is left behind. Some of the member states are the fossil fuels exporters, and, thus, raising concerns that declining or relocating the carbon-intensive industries may cause job losses and economic hardship – which pretty much is needed at the current situation.

Through the ASEAN Climate Change and Energy Project (ACCEPT), the first official project that addressing the integration of energy and climate change issue, we support the countries in the region in improving the coherence between their energy and climate policies and contribute to more climate-friendly development of the energy sector, both at regional and national levels.

We support the countries in their planning to consider climate-related financial risk and opportunities in the decision-making process, such as the associated socio-economic and environmental benefits and risks in energy infrastructure investment.

The findings from the 6th ASEAN Energy Outlook identified that to reduce its GHG emissions in line with the Paris Agreement, the region must make efforts in all sectors, but especially in the energy sector, which is the largest emitter.

Several concrete recommendations for the energy-climate nexus are presented and this is what we do in supporting the countries, such as increasing renewable energy penetration to boost energy security through diversification and self-sufficiency while reducing GHG emissions and social externality cost.

Then, strengthen emission standards for power plants to reduce GHG emissions and protect public health, adopting the ambitious energy efficiency measures and emission standards for the industry sector, and strengthen vehicle emission and fuel quality standards for the transportation sector and lastly enhancing the building codes and stricter appliances efficiency standards in the commercial and residential sector.

Recognising the roles of job creation in economic recovery is equally important. According to the IRENA’s Annual Review 2020 on Renewable Energy and Jobs, Vietnam, Malaysia and Philippines were among the top 10 countries in the world that created solar PV employment in 2019. Our 6th ASEAN Energy Outlook (AEO6) also found that accelerating renewable energy deployment not only will create jobs but also will reduce the social cost over 700 billion USD by 2040. All of these show that accelerating renewable energy deployment is a promising direction that could simultaneously address the energy trilemma in this COVID-19 pandemic economic recovery. And our ACCEPT Program is in the front line to support ASEAN countries.

Prompt 2: How can we collaboratively develop solutions to ensure a resilient and sustainable energy system?

Margaret Jackson: What opportunities does the development of the ASEAN Power Grid offer for increased penetration of renewable energy? What other policy and technical developments does the region require to adopt higher rates of renewables?

Beni Suryadi: The APG is meant to facilitate electricity trading among Member States through strategic interconnections and to enhance the integration of their power systems. Increased power system connectivity through the APG can enable more efficient use of resources, enhance grid stability and service in remote areas, and improve the region’s energy security as electricity demand and end uses to grow. Regional collaboration through the APG will also play important role in closing the RE gap, as individual AMS may find it challenging to undertake the required efforts on their own. By enabling more cross-border trade, a more interconnected ASEAN could make large-scale RE investments more profitable.

One recent example on this is the announcement of Lao PDR-Thailand-Malaysia-Singapore Power Integration Project (LTMS-PIP) during Vietnam’s Chairmanship of the 38th AMEM. The four countries announced their commitment to initiate up to 100MW of cross-border power trade from Lao PDR to Singapore via Thailand and Malaysia using existing interconnections from 2022 to 2023, under the LTMS-PIP. The Ministers expressed their support for the LTMS-PIP as a pathfinder to complement existing efforts towards realising the ASEAN Power Grid and the ASEAN Economic Community, by creating opportunities for multilateral electricity trading in the region.

Presently, we are working on the development of the ASEAN Interconnection Master Plan Study III (AIMS-III). AIMS III provides an updated plan of the regional transmission network that links the ASEAN power system with the maximizes utilisation of regional renewable energy resources. From this study, we identified, specific on variable Renewable Energy, ASEAN is rich with vRE technical potential: 8,119 GW Gross Capacity of solar and 342 GW of wind. And in order to achieve the regional target on renewable energy, we will need “ONLY” to utilise around 1-4% of this potential; around 83GW solar and 12.3GW wind in total by 2025. This does not only to address the need at the national level but also the regional level as we aim to increase the penetration of renewable energy through our bilateral and multilateral interconnections under the ASEAN Power Grid (APG).

Progress can be further accelerated through collective capacity-building, joint studies and proposals, etc. Activities such as improving access to finance for renewable energy projects, increasing power sector stakeholders’ capabilities, and designing a more integrated ASEAN power grid are regarded as important regional interventions to address key barriers to renewable energy development.

In order to support RE penetration and also maintain system reliability and power quality, the grid modernization, grid flexibility, smart grid as well as digitization technologies can be considered to be adopted by the countries in the region.

Prompt 3: What are the game changers and innovations ahead that will allow us to balance reliability, sustainability and cost competitiveness?

Margaret Jackson: How are ASEAN nations working together to drive technology innovation in the region?

Beni Suryadi: ASEAN is a diverse region. 10 countries with its own complexity. The complexity of the situation is further heightened by the need to achieve multiple policy aims at once, on energy and other priorities. The energy policy choices made by each ASEAN country will not only determine the sustainability of these countries’ economies, but also have implications for the region and the world.

So, innovation must be a central element in every area that all of these 10 countries are working together, including on the energy cooperation, or in driving the technology to support its development.

So, two words are highlighted here: cooperation or working together and innovation.

These two words are perfectly translated as the sub-theme of the regional blueprint on energy cooperation – the latest version that was launched at the 38th ASEAN Ministers on Energy Meeting, last November. The blueprint that covers the energy cooperation in ASEAN for the period of 2021 to 2025, as part of the ASEAN Economic Community Blueprint.

This ASEAN energy blueprint highlighting the sub-theme “Accelerating Energy Transition and Strengthening Energy Resilience through Greater Innovation and Cooperation”.

It frames the region’s energy cooperation agenda in the next five years as well as the longer-term towards a sustainable ASEAN energy future.

It highlights the energy sector’s contributions to the overall goals of the ASEAN Community, including its response to cross-sectoral imperatives for economic recovery and sustainable development, expectations of sustainability, climate response and resilience, and the demands of rapid urbanisation, demographic growth, and digitalisation, amongst other emerging issues.

One practical example is improving the regional capability to produce crucial RE technologies such as solar PV is important to drive further deployment. With Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam already acknowledged globally in solar PV component production and assembly, regional collaboration might enhance production and innovation. This, in turn, could encourage the development of mechanisms such as virtual net energy metering (VNEM) and peer-to-peer (P2P), as well as overall growth in RE demand and deployment. The innovation will assist ASEAN in embracing RE technology faster.

And on cooperation framework, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) may enhance the low-carbon supply chain across the ASEAN countries; regional capacity building and knowledge transfer through experts sharing will strengthen research, development and innovation on low-carbon technologies. Not only these will ensure sustainable development but also will enhance regional integration.

The ASEAN Energy Ministers pledged to continue to accelerate the energy transition of ASEAN through innovation towards a sustainable energy future, amidst unprecedented challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic on the global energy sector and overall economic growth.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text el_class=”photo-caption-news”](BS)[/vc_column_text][vc_tweetmeme][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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