Electric Vehicles (EVs), including hybrid electric cars, can drastically reduce carbon emissions released into the environment. Compared to conventional cars that release unhealthy amounts of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide into the environment, battery-electric cars effectively produce zero-emissions from their tailpipes. Bloomberg Energy Finance predicts that 54 percent of new cars sold in 2040 will be EVs, accounting for 33 percent of the global car fleet by then. A study commissioned by Nissan in 2018 found that a third of Southeast Asian consumers are open to buying an EV. The study titled, ‘Future of Electric Vehicles in Southeast Asia’, found that while EV sales in ASEAN member states is generally weak – consumers in the Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia were the most enthusiastic about the future of EVs. Proper policies and incentives will go a long way in getting more Southeast Asians to drive EVs.
The state and private sectors are stepping up efforts to give Thailand a new clean look, with economic activities fuelled by clean energy. New power plants and cars will be powered by energy that is more friendly to the environment. The move is not only because oil and gas reserves are shrinking, but the government also wants its investments in renewable energy projects to drive the economy during the recovery, lasting well into next year. Authorities set a target to have 30% of total energy consumption in 2036 derived from renewable resources, almost double its current share. According to the National Alternative Energy Development Plan, renewable power generation capacity in the country must reach 16,788 megawatts by 2036. Thailand can generate 53% of this target at present. Renewable resources range from biomass and biogas to sun, wind and water.
The Philippines is cementing its two-decade ‘low carbon’ pathway with 34,000 megawatts of renewable energy (RE) installations that shall be integrated into the power mix. At the virtual Southeast Asian Nations Clean Energy Week, Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi declared that the country’s National Renewable Energy Plan (NREP) casts such scale of RE projects to advance ‘low carbon scenario’ for the Philippines. The energy chief primarily noted that “coal and oil shares will continue to decrease due to the use of alternative fuels for transport.” In his assessment, the decarbonization strategy of the Philippines would translate “to a power generation mix that shifts from being coal-centered to one where RE, natural gas and other emerging clean energy technologies will have increased shares.”
Renewable energy key to achieve ASEAN countries’ aspirational sustainability roadmap by 2025, says GlobalData
ASEAN countries have laid an aspirational five-year sustainability plan to improve the renewable energy (RE) capacity in the power mix to 35% to achieve the target of 23% of RE in the total primary energy supply by 2025. The renewables (including hydro) under this vision can witness a new capacity build of approximately 35-40GW by 2025. This plan will help the countries to reduce their pollution level and reach closer to their sustainable and de-carbonization target, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company. Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia, represent a share of about 84% of the total installed RE capacity among the ASEAN countries. Vietnam leads the sustainability change with 34% share, followed by Thailand (17%), Indonesia (13%), Malaysia (10%) and the Philippines (10%).
Major oil companies are in the early stages of one of the biggest transformations in any industry in decades. Nearly all of them are starting to make investments in low-carbon businesses, investing in wind, solar, and hydrogen power. Investors clearly have mixed opinions about this shift. Big pension funds and other institutional investors are demanding that oil companies make this change, but as the companies invest in renewables, their stock prices tend to fall. BP (BP) is one example. The company announced plans this year to produce net zero carbon emissions by 2050, and increased its spending on renewable projects -- goals that are in line with investor demands. But its stock has continued to fall. It’s now down 48% this year, worse than its Big Oil competitors. RBC Capital Markets analyst Biraj Borkhataria published a note on Tuesday analyzing this shift, and considering which companies might be able to best navigate it.
On 17 November, Vietnam’s National Assembly passed the revised Law on Environmental Protection legalising an emission trading scheme. The law will take effect on 1 January 2022. This policy is expected to strengthen Vietnam’s commitment to greenhouse gas emission reductions under the Paris Agreement on climate change. It paves the way for the country to further tap its significant renewable energy potential, and switch to a low-carbon development model in the post-COVID-19 recovery era. The law stipulates that the government will establish a carbon emission trading scheme that suits the local context and complies with international climate change treaties. Details such as targets, timelines and regulated industries will be specified later in a government decree. The law also legalises enabling policies such as national greenhouse gas emission inventories, and the monitoring, reporting and verification of emissions.
Thailand's energy authority plans to add Singapore to its regional energy grid by 2023, along with Cambodia and Myanmar, said Kulit Sombatsiri, permanent secretary for energy. The move follows the success of a Laos-Thailand-Malaysia deal, in which Thailand buys electricity from hydroelectric power plants in Laos and sells it to Malaysia through transmission lines operated by the state-run Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat). The plans will be discussed for approval by regional policymakers through teleconference, hosted by Vietnam, next week as part of this year's Asean Sustainable Energy Week. At the meeting in Bangkok last year Asean energy ministers agreed that Egat could sell 300 megawatts to Malaysia. The deal with Singapore would see Thailand sell 100MW to the city-state.
After a tense and polarized US election, Joe Biden’s victory promises a major change in direction on energy policy after four years of climate-change denial by the Trump administration. Biden’s election platform included ambitious goals – ensuring that electricity production would be carbon-free and largely renewable by 2035, achieving carbon neutrality by 2050, investing in research and development and new power infrastructure, upgrading the national electricity grid, extending and electrifying rail transport, and developing better energy storage/batteries and electric mobility, among other decarbonization initiatives. This ambitious plan also took into account the energy transition accelerating in countries such as China, the EU states, Japan, South Korea and many others – developments that risk the US being left behind in the next industrial revolution.