SEforALL and ACE Clean Energy Transition Dialogue 2021: Energy Transition trends in ASEAN+3

Online, 27 May 2021

On 27 May 2021, Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL), in cooperation with ASEAN Centre for Energy (ACE), is organising a virtual event entitled the Energy Transition Dialogue 2021: Energy Transition trends in ASEAN+3. The event held as a platform for knowledge exchange with experts from think tanks, practitioners, and academia to get the latest updates on clean energy in ASEAN+3.

The host, Min Hyejung, Energy Specialist of SEforALL, invited Ms Tracey Crowe, Chief of Staff and Senior Director of SEforALL, to give the opening remarks for the event. Then, Dr Nuki Agya Utama, Executive Director of ACE, in his keynote address, emphasised why clean energy transition is essential and how ACE is making an effort to make it happen in the region.

Dr Nuki Agya Utama from ACE gave the Keynote Address for SEforALL and ACE Clean Energy Transition Dialogue 2021: Energy Transition trends in ASEAN+3 and ASEAN.


Before the main session began, Mr Alvin Jose, Principal Energy Specialist of SEforALL, delivered the roundtable’s context and objectives. As ASEAN+3 countries are facing challenges to improve their energy security, increase energy diversification and reduce fossil fuel imports. Mr Alvin highlighted the importance and opportunities for ASEAN+3 countries in the global effort for climate action and SDG7 goals. The dialogue aimed to understand the significant emerging trends within ASEAN+3 countries, identify opportunities, strengthen clean energy cooperation, showcase progressive national/regional ambitions and the enabling mechanisms, and learn from north-south and south-south experiences by sharing opportunities, challenges, and lesson learnt.

The event divided into two main sessions: the topic about carbon neutrality policy updates and potential clean energy pathways, second is the clean energy transition challenges and opportunities for ASEAN+3 cooperation. Mr Glenn Pearce Oroz, Director of International Relations & Special Projects of SEforALL, became the moderator for the first session. He welcomed Ms Monika Merdekawati, Research Analyst of ASEAN Climate Change and Energy Project (ACCEPT), to deliver the first presentation, sharing the outlook of clean energy in Southeast Asia according to the 6th ASEAN Energy Outlook (AEO6).

ASEAN Member States (AMS) has consistently progressed their clean energy targets as set out under the guiding documents, ASEAN Plan of Action for Energy Cooperation (APAEC). Under the current policies and targets as projected by the AMS Target Scenario (ATS), the regional target of achieving a 23% renewable share by 2025 is out of reach. Hence, many could bridge the gap as identified by APAEC Target Scenario (APS) to achieve such an ambitious objective. To realise the clean energy pathway, ASEAN needs a substantial investment of 367 billion USD in the power sector. The AEO6 also estimated the positive multiplier effects from the decarbonisation efforts, such as significant job creations where solar and wind investment will add 220.000 jobs by 2025.

On 26 October 2020, the ambitious decarbonisation plan and the green growth strategy in Japan declared by prime minister Mr Suga Yoshihide. By 2025, Japan will reduce GHG emission to net zero to realise a carbon-neutral society. In Japan’s representative, Mr Motofusa Murakami, Managing Director of Energy Conservation Centre Japan (ECCJ), delivered the country’s decarbonisation plan challenges such as analysing the large shields emission sector and securing investment for new technology. To induce the investment, Japan set an ambitious roadmap to realise carbon neutrality by 2050, where the specific implementations are still under discussion by the specialists by considering the latest long-term energy plan, namely the 3E+S.

Meanwhile, President Xi’s of China stated that the country aimed to peak before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2016 at the 75th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on 22 September 2020. China’s representative, Dr Wang Yi, Vice President and Professor of China Academy of Sciences (Institutes of Science and Development), mentioned the significant tasks of deepening green development and harmonising man and nature. The first primary task is to accelerate the green transition of development pattern and establish an economic system with green, low carbon, and circular economy, the second task is to build a modern energy system: clean, low-carbon, safe, high efficiency, and ensure the capacity of supply, the third task is to form a new pattern for developing and protecting China’s geographical space, and finally to continuously improve the environmental quality.

The last presentation for the first session was from Mr Sung-hoon Kim, Director of Renewable Energy Policy Division of Korea Energy Agency (KEA). He shared South Korea’s carbon neutrality roadmap by 2050. The government commits to push decarbonisation in all areas of economy and society, including industry, transportation, building and land.

The panellist session chaired by Ms Ksenia Petrichenko, Economic Affairs Officer, UN ESCAP. She invited Ms Sirpa Helena Jarvenpaa, Director of Southeast Asia Energy Transition Partnership, to give the first statement for the panellist session. Ms Sirpa sees the potential for increasing original clean energy collaboration in light of these trends towards carbon neutrality by bringing the stakeholders together and translating the commitments into the actual policies and the clean energy program. The other panellist: Dr Wang Yi, Mr Sung-hoon Kim, Mr Motofusa Murakami, and To Nhien Ngo, Executive Director, Vietnam Energy Transition Initiative, Vietnam, also gave their statement in this panellist session.

The clean energy pathways adopted by China, Japan, and South Korea can also have a potential impact on the adopted solutions in the global south, especially in southeast Asia. These three countries are members of the ASEAN+3 cooperation framework and support the ASEAN member states’ regional integration and cooperation and support the efforts under APAEC.

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