The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) has created a road map to achieve at least 23 percent renewable energy in the region’s energy mix by 2025, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the Asean Center for Energy (ACE) announced in a press conference following the 34th Asean Ministers on Energy Meeting (AMEM) held in Na Pyi Taw, Myanmar on September 23.
Energy ministers from across Asean met to accelerate efforts to boost renewable energy deployment in the region. According to IRENA and ACE, the Asean nations are currently on track to source 17 per cent of their combined total primary energy supply from renewables by 2025. To achieve the target of 23 per cent by 2025 set by Asean at the 33rd AMEM, the region must rapidly accelerate the deployment of renewables, the ministers said in a joint statement.
To enable the needed energy transition, IRENA and ACE produced a joint study on the potentials, costs, and benefits of renewable energy in the region. Entitled “Renewable Energy Outlook for Asean—a REmap analysis,” the report serves as a kind of road map providing detailed technological and sectoral options for Asean countries to close the gap between the current and targeted share of renewables in the regional energy mix.
“Asean member states are endowed with some of the best renewable energy resources in the world,” said Adnan Z. Amin, IRENA Director-General. “The analysis from IRENA and ACE shows that reaching the 23 per cent target in the Asean region is not only feasible, but cheaper than the alternative. Doing so however will require more emphasis on renewables across all sectors, including heating, cooking and transport.”
Sanjayan Velautham, ACE Executive Director added, “This study will help Asean achieve its aspirational renewable energy target. Beyond that, it will also help the region achieve the four pillars under the Asean Plan of Action for Energy Cooperation: energy security, accessibility, affordability and sustainability for all.”
According to the study, the combined energy demand of the 10 Asean member states—Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam—will grow 50 per cent by 2025. This will increase emissions by 60 per cent and generate $225 billion per year in associated health and pollution costs. When considering these added costs, the savings generated through achieving a 23 per cent share of renewables are greater than the increased investment required to do so, the study emphasized.
“While the share of renewables each Member State can realistically achieve varies, the fact remains that all Asean countries can contribute to the 23 per cent goal in their own way,” said Dolf Gielen, Director of IRENA’s Innovation and Technology Center. “We hope this new joint study will help chart the course for more action on renewables in the region.”
The study’s organizers said that the research and planning work involved energy authorities in all 10 Asean member states and more than 60 experts through in-depth technical workshops and review webinars.
The study also received support from the Renewable Energy Support Program for Asean, a project jointly implemented by ACE and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
The full study is expected to be released to the public in October.