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ASEAN and Climate Issue

ASEAN long-term energy path. ASEAN is one of the fastest growing economic regions in the world, driven by a growing middle class, urbanisation and industrialization, as well as economic integration of its ten (10) member countries. This growth had a consequential increase in primary energy consumption which was registered at 3.6% per annum from 1995 to 2007. Total primary energy consumption increased from 339 MTOE in 1995 to 511 MTOE in 2007, in which fossil fuels; oil, coal and gas, are accounted for 64.6% in 1995 and increased to 72.4% in 2007.

Among the fossil fuels consumed in the region, coal had the fastest growth rate increasing at an annual rate of 13.0% mostly due to the installation of coal-fired power plants in the region. Natural gas had the second fastest growth at 6.5% per annum increasing its share from 16.4% in 1995 to 21.4% in 2007. Oil remains as the major energy source in the ASEAN economies but its growth was relatively slower than other sources of energy at 2.2% per annum. As a result, its share in the primary energy mix decreased from 43.6% in 1995 to 36.2% in 2007. Meanwhile, other fuels, such as Geothermal and Hydro, even though also grew than the total primary energy growing, however its share remained low. Detail composition is shown in Figure 1.

Primary Energy Mix, 1995 and 2007Figure 1: ASEAN Primary Energy Mix, 1995 and 2007

Similar case was also applied for the electricity generation mix. Although the individual shares of coal, oil and natural gas in the ASEAN has changed substantially from 1995 to 2007; coal increased from 13.4% to 27.3%, oil decreased from 31.4% to 10.6% while the gas increased from 36.7% to 45.9%, the share of fossil fuels increased from 81.4% in 1995 to 83.8% in 2007.

This growth is expectedly will continue in the future. As described in the 3rd ASEAN Energy Outlook (ACE, 2011), the current trend of the energy path will stay the same where fossil fuels will remain the dominant source of energy and will remain as the biggest share in regional’s energy mix. Until 2030, the composition of the region’s energy mix shows that fossil fuels are still the main energy driver to fulfill regional energy demand growth.

Under Business-as-Usual (BaU) Scenario, with the assumed GDP growth rate of 5.2% per annum from 2007 to 2030, the primary energy consumption will growth at 4.5% per annum on average to reach 1,414 MTOE in 2030. Even though hydropower is expected to growth at 7.1% per annum as countries in the Great Mekong Sub-region decide to develop their vast hydropower potential for electricity trade among the neighbors, nuclear power is being introduced and the region is continuously promoting renewable energy, the share of fossil fuels is still growing to reach 80.4% in 2030.

Under Alternative Policy Scenario (APS), the growth of primary energy consumption will be at a slower 3.6% per annum to 1,152 MTOE in 2030. This is the result of imposing energy efficiency and conservation action plans and saving targets of member countries. However, the share of fossil fuels is remains higher than the year 2007 level, or 77.3% in 2030. Energy mix for both scenarios can be seen as Figure 2.

ASEAN Primary Energy Mix 2030, BaU and APSFigure 2: ASEAN Primary Energy Mix 2030, BaU and APS

 Current and long-term CO2 emission path. As ASEAN will continue to pursue their economic and development goals by heavily dependent on fossil fuels; coal, oil and gas, CO2 emission is consequently growing high. As depicted by Figure 3, CO2 emissions from energy sector in 2007 was 283 Mt-CO2e. The Outlook (ACE, 2011) projected the 4.5% annual growth in primary energy consumption under the BAU scenario will result in a corresponding 5.7% growth in CO2 emissions. This is due largely to the high escalation of coal consumption which is the most carbon-intensive fossil fuel, including oil and natural gas consumption. This increasing energy consumption will have a corresponding increase in CO2 emission which is said to contribute to global warming in which under this trend introduction of large scale low-carbon energy technologies to be embedded into the long-term national energy path is strongly required.

The implementation of APS for reduction of associated GHG emissions will slow the CO2 emissions annual growth rate to 4.4%. This is the result of imposing the Energy Efficiency and Conservation (EE&C) action plans and saving targets of the member countries which reduces the fuel consumptions in the end-users and power generation as well as the installation of more carbon free or carbon neutral energy such as nuclear, biomass, wind and solar power facilities. Total CO2 emission in the APS will be about 679 million tons of Carbon equivalent (Mt-CO2e), 24% lower than the BAU scenario (895 Mt-CO2e).

CO2 Emission in the Reference and Alternative Scenarios, in Mt-CFigure 3: CO2 Emission in the Reference and Alternative Scenarios, in Mt-C

With current growth rate, the emissions will continue to rise along with population growth and increase in standards of living that drive the demand for energy – that continues to rely on fossil fuels. CO2 emissions per unit of energy consumption will increase from 0.49 tons of carbon equivalent (t-CO2e) per toe in 2007 to 0.63 t-CO2e per toe in 2030 under BaU scenario and 0.59 t-CO2e per toe under APS. CO2 emission per unit of GDP will also increase at the average annual rate of 0.5% from 283 t-CO2e/million USD in 2007 to 317 t-CO2e/million USD in 2030 in BaU. In APS, on the other hand, CO2 intensity will decrease by 0.7% per year to 240 t-CO2e/million USD.

ASEAN’s regional response to climate change. With projected dominance of fossil fuels, ASEAN is poised to become one of the big contributors to global warming. At the same time, ASEAN is also at a risk on the impact of climate change with lesser ability and capacity to cope with its effects compared to other regions. Some governments, already faced with financial constraints, will be confronted with additional costs associated with climate change mitigation and adaptation in the future.

Acknowledged the situation, the 25th and the 26th ASEAN Ministers of Energy Meeting (AMEM) held in November 2007 in Singapore and in August 2008 in Bangkok, Thailand, respectively, provided the guidelines/directives towards enhancing regional cooperation on energy to further intensify cooperation in the area of energy efficiency and conservation to, among others, mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.

Through the ASEAN Plan of Action for Energy Cooperation (APAEC) 2010-2015, which was adopted at the 27th AMEM in Mandalay, Myanmar on 29 July 2009, ASEAN recognized global and regional issues and challenges on energy and climate change. Furthermore, energy and climate change become the theme of the 28th AMEM in Da Lat, Viet Nam on 22 July 2010. The Ministers noted the Leaders’ vision for an ASEAN Community resilient to climate change as set out in the 2009 ASEAN Leaders’ Statement on Joint Response to Climate Change. In this respect, the Ministers re-affirmed their commitment towards strengthening efforts to address climate change and enhancing ASEAN energy cooperation towards low-carbon and green economy.

Emission goals. Even though ASEAN set no specific target on CO2 emission yet, in view that energy efficiency is one of the most cost effective ways to enhance energy security and addressing climate change in the region, the Ministers agreed to pursue the aspirational goal of reducing regional energy intensity of at least 8% by 2015 based on 2005 level.

On more technical level, through APAEC 2010-2015, ASEAN also set a collective action for to strengthen cooperative partnerships in the promotion and utilization of coal and clean coal technologies among the Member States. Goes beyond, ASEAN viewed that the growth of fossil-energy demand needs to be curbed intensively which strongly requires the increasing role of low-carbon and zero-carbon energy technologies in the long-term national energy program in order to achieve low carbon development path in the ASEAN energy sectors.

The widespread use of existing efficient energy technologies and the development and deployment of new low-carbon and zero-carbon energy technologies will be necessary to reduce GHG emissions globally in order to stabilize GHG atmospheric concentrations at a safe level as contributions to a global coherent mitigation effort. It is critical importance to achieve this target without undue sacrifice of economic progress in spite of the cost of GHG emissions mitigation and its supporting policies.


Note: It’s been a while since my last post here. I am trying to write more again to share the information through this blog. The article above is one of my work that are going to be published as book chapter. Anyway, as requested by lot of you, I am updating the Electricity Tariff in ASEAN. Have doing this since last December but not finished yet. :-P (Hugh,,, but I promise you that I will finish and publish it in June).


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