ASEAN renewable energy development may rely on the regional power grid

Jakarta – The ASEAN grid interconnection project through the ASEAN Power Grid (APG) could be a starting point for ASEAN countries to increase their renewable energy capacity in the power sector and move away from fossil fuel dependence, analysts said.

Executive Director of the Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR), Fabby Tumiwa, believes that Indonesia’s leadership in ASEAN 2023 with one of the main focuses on sustainable energy security should be used to encourage ASEAN member countries to start focusing on decarbonising their energy systems.

“Indonesia has the opportunity to lead ASEAN to make an energy transition, increase the renewable energy mix and reduce fossil energy,” explained Tumiwa in a written release.

Moreover, he continued, Indonesia has set an example for other ASEAN countries to have more ambitious energy transition targets in line with the Paris Agreement. One of them is encouraging ASEAN countries to end the operation of coal-fired power plants before 2050 and also encouraging agreements between ASEAN countries to build a solar cell and module industry and energy storage (batteries).

IESR views that Indonesia can strengthen regional cooperation and collaboration in terms of innovation, technology, and research in the field of renewable energy and encourage clear and attractive policies for increased investment in the renewable energy sector.

Sub Coordinator of the Electricity Power Programme of the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, Yeni Gusrini in the IESR webinar entitled “Toward a Decarbonised ASEAN” said that ASEAN already has a capacity of around 7,645 MW in the existing interconnection network in the ASEAN Power Grid project. The interconnection network will increase its capacity to about 19,000 to 22,000 MW and cover a wider area.

“The ASEAN Power Grid contributes to economic development in ASEAN to help meet energy demand and develop the growth of regional industrial players. In the first phase, power grids in Lao PDR, Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore have been connected through the Lao PDR, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore Power Integration Project (LTMS-PIP), which has pioneered a 100MW transmitted power trading mechanism from Laos to Singapore by utilising existing interconnections,” said Gusrini. (Hartatik)

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