Running out of excuses: Where does Southeast Asia's energy transition stand in 2020?
(Eco Business, 1 Oct 2020) As renewables success stories keep emerging from Southeast Asia, countries in the world's most climate-vulnerable region have little excuse for not having a working clean energy market design in place. There are plenty of neighbours to learn from.
A few years ago, Southeast Asia’s energy transition got off to a bumpy start, and that’s putting it mildly.
While endowed with an extraordinary supply of wind and ample sunshine, governments across the region have long bucked the global trend towards renewables, despite it playing a key role in the fight against climate change.
A bloc of some 670 million people, Southeast Asia may historically not rank among the world’s climate villains. But its population boom, along with burgeoning incomes and dizzying economic growth, is forecast to send energy demand rising by 60 per cent by 2040.
So far, the region—where some 45 million people still lack access to electricity—has handled the increase in power consumption primarily by doubling down on investments in planet-heating fossil fuels. If the world is to stave off climate catastrophe, this needs to change.
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