IRENA signs agreement with ASEAN to strengthen renewables in Asia’s South East

IRENA will collaborate with ASEAN to develop renewables energies in the region

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has signed an agreement with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to form an alliance that seeks to develop renewables energies and move forward in the transition toward a sustainable future.

The deal was signed by IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin and ASEAN Secretary-General Dato Lim Hoi during the 36th ASEAN Minister on Energy Meeting in Singapore.

Under the agreement, IRENA and ASEAN will work closely to create a favorable environment for investment and development in renewable energies.

In this sense, ASEAN has set a target of securing 23 percent of its primary energy from renewable energy sources by 2025. According to IRENA, reaching this goal will require annual investments amounting to $27 billion, which is equal to 1 percent of the region’s GDP.

“Southeast Asia is a dynamic and rapidly evolving region with strong economic growth, rising incomes and growing populations, factors that will increase regional demand for power,” said Adnan Z. Amin. Renewables will be the key to addressing this growing demand and ensuring energy security, while powering the inclusive and sustainable economic development of the region.

Renewable develop in South East Asia

During the meeting, authorities emphasized that the South East Asian region is a strategic area where renewables would encourage socio-economic growth.

Job creation, business value chains, and better quality of life are some of the benefits of a well-executed plan with renewable power investment.

Estimates indicate that around 600,000 people currently work in the region’s electricity generation sector. The development of renewables could create more than two million jobs by 2030.

However, securing the success of this endeavor will require a lot of political will, which the alliance between IRENA and ASEAN intends to generate, along with the technical knowledge necessary to carry the project forward.

Unlocking the vast potential that exists in Southeast Asia will require significant effort and investments within an action plan led by both entities. “IRENA will work closely with ASEAN to implement a joint action plan that ensures Southeast Asia continues its remarkable economic story in a new age of energy,” Amin stated.

“This agreement will help ASEAN members in the transition towards low-carbon growth and contribute to obtaining sustainable growth,” Lock Hoi said.

Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand; and the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, and East Timor will benefit from this alliance.

Key work areas

The energy ministers from the countries that will work along with IRENA will work on the following key aspects to develop renewable energies in the coming years:

-Energy planning in the context of integration of high-shares of renewables to the ASEAN energy mix.

-Assessments and roadmaps for accelerated renewable energy deployment, including updates to the ASEAN Renewable Energy Outlook.

-Promote knowledge sharing among regional policymakers to implement enabling renewable energy policy and regulatory frameworks to capitalize on the social and economic benefits of scaled up RE deployment.

-Support the advancement of various renewable energy resources across ASEAN member states through detailed technology and innovation assessments and cost reduction potential analysis.

-Enable the development of bankable RE projects and support for project facilitation through IRENA’s various project facilitation platforms.

-Build capacity of policymakers, regulators, utilities and other key stakeholders in the region on various renewable energy topics through training and workshops.

Renewable Energy Outlook for ASEAN

These entities have collaborated previously. The ASEAN Center for Energy (ACE) and IRENA developed a report titled “Renewable Energy Outlook for ASEAN” in 2016.

This document showed that the planned energy goals could be achieved and would bring many benefits for the region. “The report found that the region’s renewable energy could bring general costs down, foster cleaner cities, and support the distribution of safer and cleaner energy,” IRENA explains.

According to the study, approximately half of the region’s renewable potential lies in energy generation, especially solar power, which could grow to nearly 60,000 megawatts.

Furthermore, high biomass production in member countries could be utilized in sectors like transportation, industry, and construction. This way, savings could amount to $40 billion by 2025 by reducing expenses on fossil fuels.

For more information, check Energía16

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