Energy Situation and Environment Issue – Call For Energy Efficiency and Conservation_img
Energy Situation and Environment Issue – Call For Energy Efficiency and Conservation

By Rio Jon Piter Silitonga

Thursday, 2 Jun 2016

ASEAN is expected to witness a new landscape and architecture of the energy sector upon launching of the ASEAN Economic Community or AEC in December 2015 which is the goal of regional economic integration. The AEC envisages a single market and production base, a highly competitive economic region, a region of equitable economic development, and a region fully integrated into the global economy. The AEC will transform ASEAN into a region with free movement of goods, services, investment, skilled labour, and free flow of capital.

ASEAN is a promising market with a combined gross domestic product of more than $2.3 trillion, a population of 616 million people, and with burgeoning energy demand. At the Business-As-Usual scenario of the 4th ASEAN Energy Outlook, the total ASEAN final energy consumption was 436.8 million tons of oil equivalent in 2013 and is projected to increase at an annual rate of 4.3% to reach 1,107 MTOE in 2035. The commercial sector consumption will grow the fastest at 7.3% yearly driven by the increasing per capita income; followed by the industrial sector consumption to grow yearly at 5.3% onto 2035. At the Alternative Policy Scenario or APS whereby energy efficiency and conservation would be implemented, ASEAN’s total final energy consumption will grow at a lower annual rate of 3 % compared with the 4.3% annual increase under the BAU Scenario. Under the APS, the energy savings potential of the industry sector will be around 25%, for transport 13.4%, and for other sectors 8%.   The rapid population growth in the region, coupled with increasingly intensified economy activities, is expected to drive energy demand too much higher levels.

Both at the regional and national level, all ASEAN member states have recognized the need for reducing energy consumption and increasing energy efficiency.

In Regional Level

In October 2015, the 33rd Senior Officials Meeting on Energy and ASEAN Ministers of Energy Meeting (AMEM) held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia has endorsed the ASEAN Plan of Action for Energy Cooperation (APAEC) 2016-2025.

The APAEC is a series of guiding policy documents to support the implementation of multilateral energy cooperation to advance regional integration and connectivity goals in ASEAN. It serves as a blueprint for better cooperation towards enhancing energy security, accessibility, affordability and sustainability under the framework of the AEC for the designated period.

The APAEC 2016-2025, has been developed by building on the progressive achievements of the previous plans. With the theme, “Enhancing Energy Connectivity and Market Integration in ASEAN to Achieve Energy Security, Accessibility, Affordability and Sustainability for All”, the plan will implement the outcome-based strategies and action plans through the seven Programme Areas. Extended over a longer period of 10 years, the plan will be implemented in two phases, namely Phase I: 2016-2020, which will focus on the short to medium-term strategies required to achieve energy security cooperation and move towards greater connectivity and integration. A mid-term review of Phase I will be conducted in 2018 in order to guide ASEAN in charting the roadmap for the next phase, i.e. Phase II: 2021-2025.

The Action Plan comprises seven (7) programme areas, one of them being energy efficiency and conservation, and sets energy efficiency objectives for the region as follows:

  • To pursue the aspirational goal of reducing the regional energy intensity of at least 20% by 2020 based on 2005 levels;
  • To deploy higher end-use energy efficiency for all sectors through regulatory and energy efficiency standard labelling towards harmonization;
  • To encourage private sector participation, especially the Energy Services Company (ESCO) to support energy efficiency and conservation investment and implementation.”
  • To develop green building codes which support the use of high energy-efficient products.
  • To enhance the participation of financial institutions in EE&C development

In National Level

In recent years, all ASEAN member states have adopted, or have been in the process of energy efficiency strategies or action plans, defining specific energy efficiency objectives or to achieve.

The Table provides an overview of the energy efficiency plans and targets across ASEAN countries.

Country Reference Document Energy Efficiency Target
Brunei Darussalam Energy White Paper 2014 45% energy intensity reduction by 2030 (baseline 2005)

National Policy, Strategy and Action Plan on Energy Efficiency in Cambodia (2016)


20% reduction in energy demand by in 2035 (baseline 2009)
Indonesia National Master Plan for Energy Conservation (RIKEN) 2014 1% energy intensity reduction per year between 2005 and 2025 Energy Savings of 15% in the commercial sectors and households
Lao PDR Energy Efficiency and Conservation Plan  Under development (expected 2015)

10% energy saving by 2030



The 11th Energy Efficiency Action Plan


To reduce energy consumption at 8% in 3 sectors by 2025 (residential, commercial & industry sectors)

Energy Efficiency and Conservation Policy,

Strategy and Roadmap 2012-2030

Under development (expected 2015)

16% energy efficiency improvement by 2030 (baseline unknown)

National Energy Efficiency and

Conservation Program (NEECP)

Under revision (expected 2015)

45% energy intensity by 2035

(baseline 2005)

Singapore Sustainable Singapore Blueprint 2015

30% energy intensity

improvement by 2030 (baseline 2005)

Thailand Energy Efficiency Development Plan 20152036

30% energy intensity

improvement by 2036 (baseline 2010)

Vietnam Vietnam National Energy Efficiency Programme  (VNEEP) 2005-2015 Initial energy savings of 3-5% during the period 2006 – 2010 and a further 5-8% during the period 2011 – 2015


The ASEAN Member States have a long way to go in using energy efficiently. This is in spite that the region’s energy intensity – the amount of energy used to produce each dollar of gross domestic product (GDP) – is declining steadily over the years and it is expected to further drop in both scenarios by 2030.

During the past five years, ASEAN has implemented policies and programmes to improve the energy efficiency of energy end-users. Specifically, energy efficiency programmes have been directed toward increasing energy efficiency in residential, commercial buildings and industries as well as toward increasing energy efficiency in the energy power plant or transport sectors. These policies and programmes by the EE&C-SSN have successfully raised awareness and educated the market on the benefits of implementing energy efficiency activities. Those efforts have led to the reduction of energy intensity to 8.5% in 2013, based on 2005 levels, exceeding the 8% target of energy intensity set for 2015, as stipulated in the APAEC 2010-2015.

The policy implications for ASEAN of the rising energy consumption and the corresponding increase in CO2 emissions need serious consideration of policymakers in the region. ASEAN is making efforts to enhance the use of new and renewable energy and to promote EE&C actions to reduce future CO2 emissions. Some further measures include: a) increasing climate change projects, b) accelerating the adoption of low-carbon technologies and promoting clean energy options, c) establishment of energy management systems and EE standards, d) promotion of technology transfers, and e) strengthening cooperation with Dialogue Partners and International Organizations especially in capacity building, the innovation of low carbon technologies, application of efficient technologies and partnership to realize economic and environmental gains.

The ACE jointly implemented the EE&C programme with DPs/IOs like the EU, Japan, Korea, the U.S. etc. and international organisations like the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to improve energy efficiency in all major energy consumption areas including the residential, commercial buildings, industry and transport sectors. These include the ASEAN Energy Management System (AEMAS), Promotion of EE&C (PROMEEC), ASEAN-Japan EE Programme (AJEEP), Energy Conservation Workshop under AJEEP (ECAP), Energy Market Transformation with Information Provision Scheme (EMTIPS), and the ASEAN Standard Harmonization Initiative for Energy Efficiency (ASEAN-SHINE) on air-conditioners and lighting.

One of the most successful programmes implemented by the EE&C-SSN is the annual ASEAN Energy Awards (AEA), which have been conducted since the year 2000. Initially having only two (2) categories, the AEA now consists of five categories, including awards for energy efficiency in buildings, energy management and green building status. The AEA is a much sought-after accolade by building developers with a total of 628 companies participating and 411 awards won since the introduction of the competition.  Furthermore, to professionalise EE practices, the EE&C-SSN successfully implemented the ASEAN Energy Management Accreditation Scheme (AEMAS), supported by €1.7 million of funding from the EU in 2011. As of 2015, a total of 1,686 energy managers and 9 companies have been accredited.

To keep the region moving forward through Energy Efficiency and Conservation, ASEAN should continue to strengthen regional cooperation especially in sharing best practices in energy development and utilization including energy efficiency under the Advancing Policy Scenario (APS). The role of International Organizations (IOs) and Dialogue Partners (DPs) is very important to enhance EE&C implementation. Through collective efforts this region able to achieve the goal under the APAEC 2016-2015 as well as achieving sustainable development.

The ASEAN programme should be able to be a catalyst to encounter barriers on EE&C development in national level due to human resource constraints, technology, technical and regulatory issues by intensifying human capital development, strengthening institutional framework and leverage the private sector investment on EE&C.

The greater involvement private sector through stimulation in EE investment through financial institutions are critical to the successful implementation of the programme, enhanced dialogue and exchanges will be undertaken for information on energy policy, notably through the establishment of networks, fora, conferences and seminars as well as encouraging new initiatives with the private.

The approach “Stick and Carrot strategy” needs to be considered to re-enforce the EE&C policy, plan and regulation:

  1. Stick Strategy: Establishment and Implementation of the Regulatory Framework, Energy manager system, Labeling system for consumers, to phase-out subsidy on energy prices and the Database system.
  2. Carrot StrategyProvision of Incentives, Award system, Financial Support, Provision of Development of Human Resources and Energy Audit.

Design of monitoring and evaluation on the implication of the policy is an important measure to review whether they are designed to achieve the estimated energy savings to lead the country heading to the right direction on clean energy.

The views, opinions, and information expressed in this article were compiled from sources believed to be reliable for information and sharing purposes only, and are solely those of the writer/s. They do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the ASEAN Centre for Energy (ACE) and/or the ASEAN Member States. Any use of this article’s content should be by ACE’s permission.

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