ASEAN was established in 1967 to advance regional cooperation, particularly economic, security and social. Its member countries have a combined population of 650 million and GDP of more than $2.5 trillion. Its immense population, comparative advantages and geographical location have led to the bloc being one of the quickest-growing markets globally. Interdependent Southeast Asia is increasingly threatened by environmental degradation and climate change, which would have an immense financial cost and decrease the standard of living in the region...ASEAN member countries have begun sustainable development projects: Indonesia is producing environment-friendly vehicles while Vietnam and Myanmar are building huge solar power plants.
Green recovery. Social protection. Smart containment. Decarbonisation. Putting progress in climate action at par with measuring GDP. Creative capacity. These phrases have been running through conversations these days around changing Southeast Asia's template for development in the post-Covid era. While answer to when, and if, the post-Covid era will come remains uncertain, it is clear that sustainability is back in centre stage -- no longer as the hip slogan of the 90s -- but as a survival need. In many a webinar, experts say health security and the ability to respond to pandemics have become the new competitive advantage. In a high-level dialogue on Asean's post-Covid-19 recovery at end-July, the discussion focused on a more sustainable society, rather than just the economy.
A deeper wind and solar power complementarity could drive much wider renewable energy deployment than developing power projects which concentrate on either renewable energy source in isolation. That was one of the key findings of the Exploiting wind-solar resource complementarity to reduce energy storage need study by the Lappeenranta University of Technology, in Finland. The report – written by professor of solar economy Christian Breyer and his team and published in Aims Energy – stated the wider renewables adoption which could result from an increased complementarity of the two sources might reduce the current need for big advances in energy storage technology that would be required to integrate clean energy into grids.
ASEAN has set an ambitious target of securing 23 percent of its primary energy from renewable sources by 2025 as energy demand in the region is expected to grow by 50 percent. According to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), this objective entails a “two-and-a-half-fold increase in the modern renewable energy share compared to 2014.” With the rapidly declining cost of renewable energy generation via such methods as wind and solar photovoltaic (PV), the Southeast Asian region has been presented with a golden opportunity to meet its immense electricity demand in a cost-effective and sustainable manner. A Southeast Asia Energy Outlook report states that through this, local manufacturing industries will also be able to grow.
The Women in Wind Global Leadership Program, a joint initiative of the Global Wind Energy Council and the Global Women’s Network for the Energy Transition, has released a guide on Best Practices for Gender Diversity in Talent Recruitment as a resource to advance gender equality in the wind industry. The guide aims to support employers in clean energy in adopting a diversity lens to strengthen their hiring practices, and ultimately increase the dynamism and competitiveness of their workforce. As more renewable energy jobs will be created in the coming years on the path to a green recovery from the COVID-19 crisis, gender diversity must be a priority to ensure a just recovery that attracts top talent, innovation and skills to drive the global energy transition.
Meeting future energy demand in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is a high priority in the region. With current indigenous fossil fuel resources incompatible with climate and sustainable development goals, and the COVID-19 pandemic causing fuel price volatility and economic uncertainty, the region can now seize the moment to put renewable energy sources at the forefront of its energy planning and growth agenda. That was the focus of a joint-webinar hosted by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the ASEAN Centre for Energy (ACE).
Lawmakers are joining energy officials in promoting a plan to make Thailand a hub of electric vehicle production as oil-powered cars looks to be disrupted by more affordable EV technology. Deputy House Speaker Suchart Tancharoen said members of parliament are ready to support the transition, following a months-long delay because of Covid-19. During the pandemic when global travel was restricted and oil prices plummeted, demand for EVs was still robust, signaling their impact on internal combustion engine (ICE) manufacturing may happen sooner than expected, he said. Many European countries expect to phase out ICE-based cars by 2030. In Bangkok, battery prices for EVs are falling, making EVs more attractive, Ravee Machamadol, adviser to the House Committee on Energy, told a forum on Monday.
Offshore wind is enjoying a boom time. Policy targets, falling costs, smarter operations and more powerful wind turbines have driven its rapid adoption – initially in Europe and more recently in Asia and the US. 2019 was the best year in history for the offshore wind sector, with installed capacity now topping 29 gigawatts globally. Europe still leads in terms of overall offshore wind capacity, but momentum has been building for some years in Asia-Pacific and the US. China recorded the highest number of new installations in 2019. This is according to a new report by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), which also finds that offshore wind has been less affected by the global pandemic than other sections of the energy market. GWEC expects a further 6.6 GW to be installed in 2020 – more than in the previous year – despite the downturn.