Energy is key to the realisation of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) which calls for a well-connected ASEAN to drive an integrated, competitive and resilient region. Energy is key to the realisation of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) which calls for a well-connected ASEAN to drive an integrated, competitive and resilient region.
ASEAN is now one of the most dynamic and fastest growing economic regions in the world, and through the implementation of the AEC by end of December 2015, this growth is expected to continue. The region is projected to grow by at least 4% per year on average over the next five years, but could be as high as 6% – provided ASEAN moves towards greater integration, where member states continuously implement domestic structural reforms to raise their productivity and competitiveness under the framework of the AEC.
1 To fuel this growth, the demand in primary energy
2 is expected to grow by an average of 4.7% per year from 2013 to reach 1,685 Mtoe in 2035, according to the ASEAN Centre for Energy’s (ACE) 4 th ASEAN Energy Outlook (AEO4).
Addressing this growing demand for energy, which is driven by both economic and demographic growth, has been a challenge for ASEAN ahead of the AEC. Against this backdrop, the 32 nd ASEAN Ministers on Energy Meeting (AMEM) held on 23 rd September 2014 in Vientiane, Lao PDR, endorsed the theme of the new ASEAN Plan of Action for Energy Cooperation (APAEC) 2016-2025 as “Enhancing Energy Connectivity and Market Integration in ASEAN to Achieve Energy Security, Accessibility, Affordability and Sustainability for All” .
The theme also reflects the central elements of connectivity and energy security captured in the Nay Pyi Taw Declaration on the ASEAN Community’s Post 2015 Vision adopted by the ASEAN Leaders at the 25 th ASEAN Summit in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar, on 12 th November 2014 The key initiatives under this APAEC include embarking on multilateral electricity trading to accelerate the realisation of the ASEAN Power Grid (APG), enhancing gas connectivity by expanding the focus of the Trans-ASEAN Gas Pipeline (TAGP) to include Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) regasification terminals as well as promoting clean coal technologies. It also includes strategies to achieve higher aspirational targets to improve energy efficiency and increase the uptake of renewable energy (RE) sources, in addition to building capabilities on nuclear energy.
Plans to broaden and deepen collaboration with ASEAN’s Dialogue Partners (DPs), International Organisations (IOs), academic institutions and the business sector will be stepped up to benefit from their expertise and enhance capacity building in the region. The APAEC 2016-2025 will be implemented in two phases. Phase I will cover the period 2016-2020 for the implementation of short to medium-term measures to enhance energy security cooperation and to take further steps towards connectivity and integration. In 2018, there will be a stocktake of the progress of Phase I, which will guide ASEAN in charting the pathways and directives for Phase II (2021-2025).