The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) recently released the sixth edition of its flagship Energy Outlook report, based on a bottom-up model developed within SEI’s LEAP (Low Emissions Analysis Platform) modelling framework.
The report examines how the ASEAN region can meet the energy needs of its growing economy from now until 2040, while also promoting a sustainable energy supply, encouraging greater innovation, and addressing key regional priorities, such as strengthening energy security and making clean energy accessible and affordable to all.
For the first time, this year’s report — or AEO6 — was developed entirely in-house by the modelling team at the ASEAN Centre for Energy (ACE), with SEI’s LEAP team providing assistance and advice. The project exemplifies the concept, long promoted by SEI, of empowering experts in Southern institutions to conduct energy system modelling and analysis, rather than relying on international consultants. In the words of ACE Executive Director Dr. Nuki Agya Utama, the resulting AEO6 report is “produced by ASEAN experts for the ASEAN people”.
ACE chose to use LEAP due to its support for bottom-up, end-use-oriented modelling approaches, which was vital for allowing the analysis to fully reflect the expectations, priorities, targets and context in each member state. The ACE modelling team went to great lengths to ensure that the modelling was based on the best available national data sources. Data and guidance on modelling assumptions were provided by national statisticians and national experts in ASEAN Member States, whose advice was gathered through three regional working meetings and numerous country visits and virtual workshops held in 2019 and 2020.
Key findings in the report include:
- Renewable energy development needs to accelerate to meet the target in the ASEAN Plan of Action for Energy Cooperation (APAEC).
- Renewable energy can meet a significant share of future electricity needs, but enabling measures will be needed to ensure this happens.
- Energy efficiency is crucial for meeting the region’s sustainable development goals, but reaching the APAEC target for 2025 — a 30% reduction from 2005 levels — will require additional efforts.
- Ambitious energy policies can significantly reduce GHG emissions.
- The ASEAN region is on track to meet some of its energy-related sustainable development goals, although the target on universal access to modern energy is challenging and requires additional efforts.
- Meeting these goals will require substantial investment, but will create jobs and reduce the social cost of energy.
AEO6 was made possible with the support and close engagement of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the Federal Republic of Germany. Since 2015, GIZ has been supporting ACE in the modelling, external reviews, finance and dissemination of AEO reports through the ASEAN-German Energy Programme (AGEP). AEO6 has also been supported by the ASEAN Climate Change and Energy Project (ACCEPT).