The ASEAN Member States (AMS), through the ASEAN Centre for Energy, presented the 7th ASEAN Energy Outlook (AEO7). The AMS launched this report at the 40th ASEAN Ministers Energy Meeting (AMEM) in September 2022, hosted by Cambodia. This flagship publication is supported by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH through the ASEAN-German Energy Programme (AGEP), the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) of Japan, and the ASEAN Climate Change and Energy Project (ACCEPT).
The unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic and its recovery, coupled with the volatility of global energy prices due to ongoing war and a carbon-constrained world, forced the energy sector to adapt to these rapid changes, including in Southeast Asia. Given ASEAN’s unique circumstances, interminable energy security issues also exacerbated the situation. It includes both energy resources and supporting materials, such as copper, lithium, nickel, and rare earth elements.
Against the aforementioned backdrop, this 7th edition of ASEAN Energy Outlook reports the latest status of ASEAN’s energy landscape. It also projects multiple realistic futures to gather insights for exploring a more challenging time ahead. Using historical data from 2005 to 2020, the report forecasts the ASEAN energy system until 2050. As with its predecessors, AEO7 complements the ASEAN Plan of Action for Energy Cooperation (APAEC) 2016–2025 Phase II: 2021–2025, creating pathways toward achieving regional energy targets. Following the previous edition, three central scenarios are continued: the Baseline Scenario, AMS (National) Targets Scenario (ATS), and the APAEC (Regional) Targets Scenario (APS).
AEO7 introduces a new scenario based on optimisation. The Least-Cost Optimisation (LCO) Scenario is a technology-neutral optimisation applied to the power sector. It reflects all potentially viable technologies in emerging economies, such as ASEAN. This scenario considers the cost-effectiveness, affordability, and technology maturity to fulfil the growing electricity demand. It also includes the deployment of energy storage and interconnection.
In the Baseline Scenario, ASEAN will become a net importer of natural gas and coal as soon as 2025 and 2039. It assumes no significant discoveries or additions to existing production infrastructures and with continuous fossil fuels utilisation.
In 2020, ASEAN achieved an energy intensity reduction of 23.8% amidst the pandemic. Continuing the progress with national targets, though, does not result in achieving the regional target of 32% by 2025. Similarly, renewable energy (RE) in the Total Primary Energy Supply (TPES) has a projected 5.5% gap in achieving the target by 2025. Conversely, the installed-capacity target is on the way to reaching 37.9% by 2025, according to ATS, exceeding the target. AEO7 provides insight into ways to fill the gap. The efforts include adopting stringent energy efficiency measures, increased electrification, and RE resource optimisation.
The LCO Scenario sheds light on a cost-effective alternate future, post-2025. An electricity generation system that costs USD 174.7 billion less than the APS can be realised during the projection period of 2021-2050. The cost-effective system in the LCO Scenario, though, will reduce the RE share in TPES by 5.3% in 2050, compared to APS. Interestingly, it results in a more energy-efficient system. The outlook projects the energy intensity reduction to be 3.5% higher than the APS by 2050.
AEO7 explores socio-economic impacts in ASEAN, including the social cost of energy, renewable job creation, and biofuel land use. Furthermore, this energy outlook report elaborates on six essential energy sectors to attain a secure and reliable energy transition. The six thematic insights cover Grid Integration, Fossil Fuels, Industrial Efficiency, Renewable Energy, Finance, and Nuclear Power.
AEO7 offers key energy policy proposals and strategic steps to address barriers in utilising resources to meet the demand from end-use and power sectors. It aligns the recommendations with the regional targets. In conjunction with institutional and data improvement, the report also suggests model enhancement prospects for the subsequent editions of the ASEAN Energy Outlook.