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RE in Power Generation, How far ASEAN could go?

I was in Manado, South Sulawesi, Indonesia last week, attended the 30th HAPUA Council Meeting, generously hosted by PT PLN (Persero) Indonesia. HAPUA stands for The Heads of ASEAN Power Utilities/Authorities, a specialized energy body in ASEAN which consists of national electricity companies from all of ASEAN Member Countries. The meeting that attended by CEOs/Directors of ASEAN’ national electricity companies is the venue for the region in shaping their effort to develop a regional inter-connectivity for electricity.

Among various issues that have been discussed in that meeting, renewable energy remains the big work for the region. Through its joint statement, the HAPUA Council fully acknowledges and highly values the crucial role of renewable energy in the sustainable supply of energy for the ASEAN region. However, to meet the fast growing demand for electricity and expectation of affordable electricity tariffs in the region, the development of large scale power generation plants such as hydropower and geothermal option are indispensable. In this regard, the HAPUA Council reaffirms its commitment to achieve collective target of 15% renewable energy in its capacity mix by 2020.

How good is this number?

The issue on top of the list every time we talk about renewable energy in ASEAN is always whether to include or not the hydro above 30MW. Although in regional level, ASEAN counts every kind of hydro as renewable energy, but some countries such as Malaysia and Vietnam have a limitation of 30MW as the highest capacity of renewable hydro.

Under the ASEAN Plan of Action for Energy Cooperation (APAEC) 2010-2015, one of ASEAN’s Strategic Goals for Program Area No. 5. Renewable Energy is to achieve a collective target of 15% for regional renewable energy in the total power installed capacity by 2015.

Referring to the figure from the publication of ASEAN Renewable Energy Development 2006-2011, while non-renewable sources total installed capacity reached its peak at 94,223 MW in 2011, the renewable energy total installed capacity increased significantly from to reach 39,097.58 MW in 2011, or about 29.33% from the total number of installed capacity. However, as you can see in the Figure below, hydropower dominated its share with 23.2%. There is no differentiation data for hydro on its capacity in this chart, but we take all hydro out of the game, the share of RE is only about six percent. A very long way to go from ASEAN target in 2015.

Share of RE in ASEAN Total Installed Capacity 2011 (Source: ACE, ASEAN Renewable Energy Development 2006-2011)

Share of RE in ASEAN Total Installed Capacity 2011 (Source: ACE, ASEAN Renewable Energy Development 2006-2011)

Another table (and chart) from HAPUA on its committed project from 2012 until 20130 shows that only from total of 210,892 MW, only 4.2% is coming from renewable, or 20.2% is we allow combine with (all types, all sizes) hydropower.

HAPUA Power Plant Development Project Committed in MW (2012-2030)

HAPUA Power Plant Development Project Committed in MW (2012-2030)

A lot of homework that need to be done.

For more detail about HAPUA and its activities in developing the ASEAN Power Grid, please go to

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