ASEAN continues to work towards its renewable energy target of 23 per cent by 2025, with the Asean Centre for Energy (ACE) signing agreements for research in areas such as biofuels, said ACE in a press release following the 37th annual Asean Minister on Energy Meeting (AMEM) in September.
South-east Asia's energy demand is expected to grow by two-thirds in the next 20 years. By 2030, the region is expected to become the world's fourth largest consumer of energy.
Renewable energy now accounts for 14.3 per cent of Asean's total primary energy supply, and 26.8 per cent of installed power capacity. It also makes up 55 per cent of the region's 10.8-gigawatt power capacity additions in 2017.
At the AMEM in Bangkok, energy ministers, government officials and heads of national power authorities from all 10 Asean member states, as well as Asean dialogue partners, convened to discuss the region's progress in implementing the Asean Plan of Action on Energy Cooperation (APAEC) 2016-2025.
The meeting acknowledged that Asean has reached its energy efficiency target thus far, with a 24.4 per cent reduction in energy intensity to date, based on 2005 levels.
The ministers also recognised the role of the Laos-Thailand-Malaysia power integration project in enhancing multilateral power trade in Asean, as well as good progress in developing the second phase of the APAEC from 2021 to 2025, and various initiatives by ACE.
ACE has concluded a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Thailand's National Science and Technology Development Agency to support higher usage of bioenergy and working towards establishing an Asean Bioenergy Research and Development Network Centre. It has also signed MOUs with universities in Indonesia and Japan to promote the R&D network on renewable energy technology development and use in the region.
In conjunction with the ministeral meeting, the ASEAN Energy Business Forum was held, with 225 attendees. The next AMEM will be held in September 2020 in Hanoi, Vietnam.