ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy
Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam: some 630 million people live in the ten member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Between 2007 and 2015, there was enormous growth in the economy here, by 5.3 percent per year on average – and the demand for energy is also rising as a result. How to deal with this is shown by the fifth ASEAN Energy Outlook, which the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI and the ASEAN Centre for Energy (ACE) presented during the Ministers and CEO dialogue at the 35th ASEAN Ministers on Energy Meeting (AMEM) in the Philippine capital of Manila at the end of September.
The 5th ASEAN Energy Outlook (AEO5), like its 2015 predecessor, was accompanied scientifically by Fraunhofer ISI and developed by the ASEAN Centre for Energy, Fraunhofer ISI and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. It received support of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) through the ASEAN-German Energy Programme (AGEP). The publication was compiled with the active involvement of the ten ASEAN member states under the directive of the Regional Energy Policy and Planning Sub-sector network.
Jose Antonio Ordonez, the project’s coordinator at Fraunhofer ISI emphasizes: “The ASEAN community in Southeast Asia will become increasingly important in the near future due to strong economic growth. In view of the rising energy demand associated with this, renewable energies can play an important role in the energy mix and replace coal, especially as their costs are continuing to fall. The ASEAN Member States are realizing this and setting themselves increasingly ambitious targets”.
The recently published “5th ASEAN Energy Outlook” contains three scenarios for how to meet rising energy demand in the future – with varying levels of ambition regarding renewable energy and energy efficiency.
In the Business as Usual Scenario (BAU), the countries continue to meet their energy demand mostly with fossil energy sources, especially coal, as they did in the past.
In the ASEAN Member States Targets Scenario (ATS), the countries achieve the national targets set for energy efficiency and renewable energies.
In the ASEAN Progressive Scenario (APS), the countries have even more ambitious energy saving rates and achieve higher shares of renewables in the energy mix – as defined by community targets for the ASEAN region and stipulated in the ASEAN Plan of Action for Energy Cooperation (APAEC)2016-2025.
Besides the Ministers and CEO dialogue, Fraunhofer ISI also presented the AEO5 at the ASEAN Energy Business Forum (AEBF), which was held in conjunction with the 35th AMEM. When presenting the Outlook, Prof. Wolfgang Eichhammer, Head of the Competence Center Energy Policy and Energy Markets at Fraunhofer ISI, stated that: “The results show that energy efficiency and renewable energies can play a major role in the region to meet the future challenges of energy demand and supply and develop local industries at the same time. Countries like Malaysia, Vietnam and the Philippines, for example, have begun to construct photovoltaic production lines.”
When discussing the Outlook’s results, the dialog between Ministers and CEOs of energy companies and associations revealed different views held by fossil energy representatives and proponents of renewable energies about the respective future role of their energy source in the energy system. The declining costs of renewable energies and storage technologies may become a game changer here, but fossil fuels and RE will need to work hand in hand to meet ASEAN’s energy demand, improving the efficiency of fossil fuels on the one hand, while increasing RE implementation on the other.
Maria-José Poddey, GIZ Principal Advisor for AGEP, expressed her appreciation of the 5th ASEAN Energy Outlook: “The AEO5 is a joint result of close cooperation between ACE, Fraunhofer ISI and GIZ with support from BMZ. We are confident that the AEO5 will help policymakers and stakeholders to develop policy frameworks that ensure sustainable energy security in each ASEAN Member State and in the region.”
Following the “ASEAN Energy Outlook”, an accompanying publication on energy efficiency is currently being developed. It studies the EU’s approach to promoting joint energy efficiency policies among its member states, and assesses what the ASEAN community could learn to enhance their strategic direction on energy efficiency.
The Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI analyzes the origins and impacts of innovations. We research the short- and long-term developments of innovation processes and the impacts of new technologies and services on society. On this basis, we are able to provide our clients from industry, politics and science with recommendations for action and perspectives for key decisions. Our expertise is founded on our scientific competence as well as an interdisciplinary and systemic research approach.