05.05.2020

Clean affordable secure energy to deliver Southeast Asia’s development goals

Environmentally-friendly green energy. Photo: Shutterstock

Southeast Asia (SEA) is one of the fastest developing regions in the world with energy demand expected to grow by 70% by 2040. Despite sustained deflationary global trends and the huge potential of renewable energy in the region, fossil fuels remain SEA's dominant source of energy, subjecting the region's economies to deeper long-term economic and environmental risks without the implementation of strategic reforms. Several barriers hinder the scaling up of renewables. These include inconsistent energy planning, inappropriate consideration of their energy efficiency potential, grid capacity and stability concerns, lack of cross border integration of power systems as well as political economy dynamics that favour incumbent fossil technologies.

At the same time, countries in the region face significant development challenges exacerbated by the current global health crisis as well as increasing impacts of climate change. The transformation of the energy systems towards a clean, decentralised system can bring significant social and economic benefits to help deliver Sustainable Development Goals in the region. For example, a renewables-based power system is more likely to deliver cost-effective and efficient long-term power to the region's economies while significantly improving local air pollution and associated health impacts, supporting the development of local supply chains in new renewables-based industries, along with the creation of more jobs from increased sustainable industry activities. A decentralised power system will also more effectively provide access to energy in remote thus supporting local economic development and improvements in quality of life in the region.

Evidence-based energy system transformation for better development and more climate protection

Against this background the project Clean Affordable Secure Energy for South East Asia aims to change the power sector narrative of transformation towards an evidence-based energy transition that robustly supports the region's development strategies as it pursues Paris Agreement goals. The programme will make use of available research initiatives while generating new evidence that can persuade economic managers, power sector decision makers, industry leaders and electricity consumers to support early, speedy, and responsive strategic reforms in the power sector. Only by providing concrete evidence and responses grounded in local realities can a shift in the narrative be achieved. Overall, the creation of this evidence is expected to arm policy makers and businesses with the knowledge and capacities to manage the power sector transition in a socially just way.

CASE is a project led by GIZ GmbH in a consortium with country and international knowledge partners was launched in March 2020 to support the modernisation of SEA's energy sector. The programme will run until 2024 and will collaborate closely with other initiatives in the region as part of the Energy Transition Partnership (ETP), a large alliance of institutional donors and philanthropies set up to streamline and integrate energy transition programs into the region's long-term development strategies. It is funded by the German Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) through the International Climate Initiative (IKI).