Renewable energy is set to change the energy landscape of the region and its benefits are plentiful. The regional goal is to ensure 23 percent of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) primary energy mix is made up of renewable energy by 2025.However, many of those living in Southeast Asia’s remote villages are still reliant on traditional biomass like firewood for heating and age-old diesel generators for intermittent electricity supply.
Many are unaware of this, but Southeast Asia is home to 25 percent of the world’s geothermal generation capacity. Most, if not all of this geothermal capacity is located in the Philippines and Indonesia who are ranked as the second and third largest producers of geothermal energy in the world. Geothermal energy is produced by heat from the earth and is considered a form of renewable energy. It’s also considerably safer than most other energy sources.
Across the globe, the paths of economic growth and development are on an unsustainable trajectory, risking the natural assets and environmental services upon which long-term economic growth and human well-being are dependent on. Addressing natural capital depletion, pollution, the loss of biodiversity, and climate change is urgent in developing nations. These environmental trepidations threaten to undermine development efforts and reverse the gains made thus far.
Lowering its carbon footprint has always been a priority for the Singapore government, which recently passed its Carbon Pricing Bill to reduce carbon emissions intensity by 36% between 2005 and 2036. A carbon footprint refers to the full quantity of greenhouse gases, or CO2 emissions that can be attributed to an individual, a plant, a company, a product or a whole economy, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).
Southeast Asia’s energy demands are expected to increase by 60% in 2040 according to the International Energy Agency, with increasing electricity consumption driving up the demand for coal as well. Coal will constitute 40% of this growth, to cater to Southeast Asia’s demand for 565GW of electricity by 2040, as reported by the International Energy Agency (IEA) in October 2017.