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Joint Side Event by ACE and SEforALL: Insights on Accelerating the Advancement of the ASEAN Power Grid

07 November 2023

The ASEAN Centre for Energy (ACE) and Sustainable Energy for All (SEforAll) co-organised a side event on the 3rd Asia Pacific Energy Forum (APEF) and Asia Pacific Energy Week held on 16 to 20 October 2023 in Bangkok, Thailand. The event was themed “ASEAN Regional Approach in Accelerating Renewable Energy & Strengthening Supply Chain for Advancing ASEAN Power Grid”. This event aimed to serve as the launchpad for transitioning from theory to action, shedding light on key findings from research, inviting strategic interventions from the collaborating institutions and giving the voice to policy-makers to understand challenges and opportunities in realising net-zero future with the ASEAN region’s own resources and capability.

Dr Nuki Agya Utama, Executive Director of ACE, gave the opening remarks. Dr Nuki underscored how AMS must be prepared to face multifaceted issues in energy, such as the risk of instability stemming from the unavailability of energy sources, climate-associated perils from carbon-intensive fuels, and the increasing need to diversify the energy mix.

“There needs to be concerted action by AMS and related stakeholders to ramp up the renewable energy (RE) share in particular sectors and encompass all aspects. Departing from those challenges, but also opportunities presented to the ASEAN region, this platform, through its topic “ASEAN Regional Approach in Accelerating Renewable Energy & Strengthening Supply Chain for Advancing ASEAN Power Grid”, has successfully implemented its multilateral electricity interconnection through the Lao PDR, Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore power integration project (LTMS-PIP),” Dr Nuki stated.

Dr Nuki then reaffirmed this event’s purpose as a knowledge-sharing opportunity for RE, especially power grid integration. “This event serves as a pivotal momentum to mutually share the knowledge that we are well equipped to bolster RE share in the region to advance the ASEAN power grid. Aside from this, we have to think about how the ASEAN power grid can be facilitated higher, and a stronger RE supply chain to be successfully achieved.”, Dr Nuki concluded.

The event then continued with two presentation sessions. Ms Nadhilah Shani, Senior Research Analyst of ACE, gave a presentation under the title “ASEAN Renewable Energy Approach on Power Sector.” The following speaker, Ms Irina Lazzerini, the Principal Specialist for Clean Energy at SEforALL, presented regarding the “Southeast Asia Renewable Energy Manufacturing Opportunity”. The occasion proceeded with the discussion session, where six speakers conferred on evidence-based strategies for power interconnection and manufacturing supply chain to empower ASEAN countries in designing policy and its implementation plan. Ms Monika Merdekawati, Research Analyst of ACE, moderated this session.

Mr Dharsono Hartono, the Chair for KADIN Net Zero Hub, the Legacy Lead for Carbon Centre for Excellence, ASEAN Business Advisory Council Member of 2023, and CEO of PT Rimba Makmur Utama, underscored KADIN Indonesia’s flagship sustainability initiatives. Mr Muhamad Ifwan bin Mohd Rais, Assistant Director at the Industrial Planning and Development Department, Energy Commission of Malaysia, elaborated on how Malaysia is advancing its responsible energy transition agenda by collaborating with other ASEAN countries to strengthen the existing ASEAN Power Grid and connect the north, south, and east regions. Dr Yaowateera Achawangkul, Chief of the Alternative Energy Monitoring and Evaluation Group at DEDE Thailand, explained how Thailand’s National Energy Plan aims to promote clean energy utilisation and reduce CO2 emissions. Ms Nadhilah Shani, Senior Research Analyst of ACE, discussed the status of Southeast Asia interconnectivity under the ASEAN Power Grid. Finally, Ms Jitsai Santaputra, Co-Founder of the Youth for Energy Southeast Asia and the SDG7 Global Youth Ambassador for Southeast Asia at SEforALL, spoke about the Renewable Energy Manufacturing initiative in Southeast Asia, which looks at the investment and action needed in ASEAN countries to scale up renewable energy manufacturing capabilities.

The event concluded with a resounding message to realise a net-zero future by escalating renewable energy integration efforts in the ASEAN region.

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