Renewable energy (RE) will play a critical role in driving growth and expanding energy access in Southeast Asia, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) said.
Southeast Asian countries are poised to meet their aspirational RE target of a 23 percent share in the region’s primary energy mix by 2025, the intergovernmental organization noted.
This will also improve the availability of affordable clean energy in line with the United Nations’ sustainable development goals.
Meeting the region’s increasing power consumption via fossil fuels alone will come at the expense of energy security, IRENA noted, as indigenous reserves are already depleted or are unable to meet demand.
“With Southeast Asia’s vast, untapped renewables potential, considerable opportunities exist to accelerate renewables deployment in the power sector but also in heating, cooling and transport,” the organization said.
Strong enabling and investment frameworks have to be instituted to overcome hurdles, it added.
IRENA noted that the majority of Southeast Asian nations had set RE targets and adopted relevant policies, with Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam having made advances in terms of policy maturity and comprehensiveness.
In the Philippines, the Department of Energy last year issued a directive governing the establishment of renewable portfolio standards for on-grid areas.
Department Circular DC2017-12-0015 mandates distribution utilities (DUs), retail electricity suppliers and other participants, including power-generation companies serving directly connected customers, to purchase a certain percentage of their electricity needs from eligible RE sources.
The DoE is also working on separate off-grid rules, which are expected to help facilitate the government’s rural electrification efforts.