Southeast Asia is one of the world’s most vulnerable regions in terms of climate change. Our assessment of ASEAN’s power sector pathways to net-zero emissions (NZE) by 2050 is consistent with the Paris Agreement goal to limit global warming to 1.5 °C.
To reach NZE in the power sector by 2050, the ASEAN Member States (AMS) must swiftly capitalise on their currently untapped renewable energy potentials. Low Emissions Analysis Platform (LEAP) simulation results indicate that variable renewable energy and energy storage technologies could play a central role in reaching NZE.
The AMS’ energy sectors contributed 1.4 gigatons of CO2 emissions or 4% of global energy-related CO2 emissions in 2018. The AMS will have to halt new commitments for coal power plants starting immediately. Only by this way can the AMS’ power sector emissions peak before 2030 and the goal to reach NZE by 2050 can be met.
Though the NZE pathways entail higher total costs compared to the costs of meeting the AMS’ current renewable energy targets, they involve a lower abatement cost per ton of CO2e.