Renewables development for energy transition in ASEAN: Status quo, gaps and the prospect

Working Paper
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Focusing on four major ASEAN member states, including Indonesia, Viet Nam, Thailand and the Philippines, this paper reviews the current status, and identifies the gaps and prospects for achieving a high penetration of renewables for energy transition in ASEAN. These four countries have been leading renewable policies in this region and have established some key measures such as guaranteed purchase of renewable power at set tariffs, economic incentives for project development, financing schemes to support investments, and permitting mechanisms to facilitate grid connection. However, the development of renewables is still at an early stage in ASEAN, especially for solar PV and wind power. The basic barrier hindering renewables development is the economic order. Another critical obstacle is the bureaucracy in the region’s power sector. Major non-economic obstacles include grid problems, infrastructure, regulation and administrative deficiency. A lack of policies to regulate proper land use and the accompanying environmental impact is a growing concern for large-scale renewable projects. Nevertheless, many opportunities remain for ASEAN to expand renewables by establishing a level playing field. A short-term affordability perspective in energy planning should be avoided. Energy transition should be recognised as a business chance with a focus on leapfrogging by building renewables infrastructure. Phasing out fossil fuel power should be also promoted.