Singapore, 29 October 2020
Pursuing affordable and clean energy is one of the focus not only globally, but also for the ASEAN region. While there has been a considerable improvement in terms of providing energy access in ASEAN, the challenges to further make it affordable and clean remains. ASEAN Centre for Energy (ACE) has given the opportunity to ignite the discussion with global energy stakeholders through a roundtable titled ‘Designing Affordable and Clean Energy for a Resilient Energy System in ASEAN Communities’ at Singapore International Energy Week (SIEW) 2020. The virtual event was held on 29th October has successfully gathered around 600 participants around the globe to discuss and explore solutions to solve the remaining challenges to provide affordable and clean energy in ASEAN.
The roundtable was opened by remarks from ACE Executive Director, Dr. Nuki Agya Utama, who highlighted a message of achieving affordable and clean energy in ASEAN is not an easy task, but it is possible to be done. He also conveyed that the discussion is very timely as the issue has been put as focus in ASEAN as it is in-line with the global energy agenda under United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7.
The first session of the roundtable began with a keynote speech from H.E.Damilola Ogunbiyi, CEO and Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for Sustainable Energy for All and Co-Chair of UN-Energy, who presenting on “The Decade of Action for SDGs”. She not only outlined the progress the world and ASEAN reached so far in pursuing SDG 7 but also the challenges, especially the complexity brought by the COVID-19 pandemic. After her speech, two short comments from UK Ambassador to ASEAN, H.E. Jon Lambe and Ambassador of Norway for ASEAN, H.E. Morten Høglund topped these messages, highlighting the international support done and share experience from their country for pushing affordable and clean energy.
The second session was rows of presentations to set the scene before the panel discussion. This session laid out the context of what ‘affordable and clean’ energy means in ASEAN. Nadhilah Shani, a researcher in ACE, presented the key points of the newly published Policy Brief which emphasize that ASEAN no need to choose between affordable or clean, as affordable AND clean is now possible. After that, two countries insights were presented. Ms. Ngo Thuy Quynh, Deputy Director General of the Oil & Gas and Coal, Department, Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) Vietnam shared insights from Vietnam and Dr. Isabelle de Lovinfosse, Head of COP26 in Southeast Asia, shared insights from UK.
The final session was an hour moderated discussion which is led by Mr. Beni Suryadi, Manager of PFS department in ACE and invited several notable experts on energy such as: Ms. Elisabeth Tinschert, Project Manager of the Clean, Affordable and Secure Energy for Southeast Asia (CASE) Project, GIZ; Mr. Todd Moss, Executive Director, Energy for Growth Hub; and Mr. Lim Yeow Keong, Senior Vice President of Strategic Partnership & Origination, Sembcorp. The two presenters from previous session also join the panel discussion. The discussion touched a lot of grounds, from the technicality up to policy recommendation for putting RE as the main focus to provide affordable and clean energy in ASEAN. The inspiring discussion was very fruitful and hoped to enlighten the audience on the issue as well as ignite further collaborations in terms of clean energy in ASEAN.
Before the event ends, ACE also shared a sneak peek on its upcoming flagship publication, the 6th ASEAN Energy Outlook which is planned to be launched in the 38th ASEAN Minister on Energy Meeting (AMEM) in Vietnam on 17-20 November 2020.