For mission-critical power users, there is real pressure to reduce emissions from their diesel generators, while still making sure there is no reduction in reliability. The picture is different across Southeast Asia, with some governments legislating quicker than others and the adoption of alternatives likely to differ from region to region.
Japan’s decision to align with other G7 nations ending financing of fossil fuels in other countries sounded a clear note of unity amid the tangled, conflicting commitments that are the norm in the global climate debate. The unified effort needed to create effective climate change action will however test Japan’s leadership role as it works to navigate competing interests successfully.
The utilities sector has an important role to play in our collective transition to clean energy – one that cannot be understated: by decarbonising the production of power, it enables other industries to decarbonise through electrification. Recognising this, utilities across Southeast Asia are embracing the energy transition, and making commitments to embark on this journey in earnest.
Global momentum is building to achieve net zero in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions—and to do so more quickly than previously envisioned. Getting there will require unprecedented levels of innovation. Some estimates, such as the P4 pathway defined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), show that today’s technologies have the potential to reduce global emissions by about two-thirds. More innovation-driven projections—such as IPCC’s low-energy demand pathway, P1—do not bank on any new technologies but instead assume radical business model and policy innovation.
How can the world accelerate down a net zero pathway when some emissions can’t be abated by current technology? For some companies in hard-to-abate industries, carbon offsets can provide a practical pathway to carbon neutrality, at least while necessary abatement solutions are developed.
Since its earliest infections started cropping up in Wuhan, China, December last year, the COVID-19 coronavirus has been expanding towards approximately 4 million confirmed cases globally. In ASEAN region, based on the data from the World Health Organization (WHO), the confirmed cases have reached almost 300,000 as of early August 2020, which dominantly occurred in Indonesia, Philippines, and Singapore. Most countries, including the ASEAN Member States, have enacted containment measures in order to control and mitigate the spread of the coronavirus particularly after it was officially announced as a pandemic by WHO on March 11, 2020.
Energy demand across Asia is surging and expected to grow by two-thirds by 2040, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency. At the same time, more than 65 million people mostly in Southeast Asia are without adequate or reliable access to electricity.
How will Southeast Asia’s electric utility market evolve as it emerges from the fall out and impact of COVID-19 on the global economy? Already facing what was predicted as moderate GDP growth rates and a slowdown in the growth of demand for electricity, the region could also be coping with increased pressure to lower electricity rates and sustained pressure to broaden the energy mix, transitioning to cleaner forms of generation.