Pathways for Energy Connectivity in ASEAN – Accelerating Energy Transition for Sustainable and Resilient Societies

On 7-8 February 2018, the ASEAN Centre for Energy (ACE), the Global Energy Interconnection Cooperation and Development Organization (GEIDCO), and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), invited energy experts of the ASEAN Member States (AMS) to a consultative meeting In Jakarta, Indonesia. The meeting was attended by experts from Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam. Brunei Darussalam, Myanmar, the Philippines and Singapore conveyed their regrets for not being able to participate. The objective of the meeting was to present some of the preliminary work of the joint research, Pathways for Energy Connectivity in ASEAN – Accelerating Energy Transition for Sustainable and Resilient Societies, and to receive inputs to optimise the joint research so it would assist the AMS in their efforts for interconnection, as guided by the ASEAN Plan of Action for Energy Cooperation (APAEC) 2016-2025 under the Programme Area No 1: ASEAN Power Grid (APG).

In the first session, representatives of ACE and ESCAP introduced their organisations and provided some background information on the joint research. In the following sessions, the energy experts presented data from their countries and shared their insights into the challenges and prospects regarding electricity interconnection in the region, inspiring discussions among the participants. Subsequently, GEIDCO offered an elaborate explanation about the joint research, including the work plan, outline, purpose, and the modalities of the research. The experts from the AMS provided their feedback on the research framework. GEIDCO also distributed a questionnaire to the experts that will help guide the research.

On the second day of the meeting, ACE and GEIDCO presented the key assumptions and preliminary findings of the research project, including information on the current status of the ASEAN energy sector as well as the multi-scenario approach to projecting future developments. The energy experts discussed the assumptions and findings presented by ACE and GEIDCO, sharing their assessments on status and outlook, and providing guidance on the research project. As an immediate follow-up to the meeting, GEIDCO and ACE will liaise with the ASEAN experts to exchange data and to receive further input on their priorities regarding the research. A first draft will be circulated to all participants by 20 April 2018. On 3-4 May, the draft will be discussed in-depth at the 2nd consultative meeting between the three organisations and the ASEAN experts.

As a result of the meeting, the participants agreed that the joint research could provide a platform for consensus building among Member States on regional energy interconnection in the spirit of APAEC 2016-2025, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and Global Energy Interconnection. There is an agreement that it is worth to facilitate efforts to meet regional power demands in a clean and green way. The joint research will provide scenarios to help understand the current status of the interconnection and promote the development of clean energy and the APG. In the ASEAN context, the joint research will be shared with the ASEAN Regional Energy Policy and Planning Sub-sector Network (REPP-SSN) Focal Points to get their feedbacks, then further submitted as an input for the incoming official study, ASEAN Interconnection Masterplan Study (AIMS) III, which is coordinated by the Heads of ASEAN Power Utilities/Authorities. The joint research Pathways for Energy Connectivity in ASEAN anticipates two publications: a high-level report to be published at the Asia and the Pacific Energy Forum (APEF), April 2018, and the full report to be published at the 36th ASEAN Ministers on Energy Meeting, October 2018. (PA)