IRENA forges powerful new partnership

Image: IRENA

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) signed an agreement with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), forging a new partnership aimed at scaling up renewable energy deployment and advancing the transition to a sustainable energy future.

The memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed by IRENA’s director-general Adnan Z. Amin and the secretary-general of ASEAN, Dato Lim Jock Hoi, on the sidelines of the 36th ASEAN Ministers on Energy (AMEM) and the Singapore International Energy Week (SIEW), in the presence of regional ministers.

Under the agreement, IRENA and ASEAN will work closely to strengthen the enabling environment for renewable energy investment and deployment as ASEAN pursues an aspirational target of 23 per cent of primary energy from renewables by 2025.

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Based on IRENA analysis, achieving the target will require an estimated annual investment of USD 27 billion, equivalent to one per cent of regional GDP, for the next eight years – a tenfold increase on 2016 investment volumes.

Director-General of IRENA Adnan Z. Amin said Southeast Asia is a dynamic and rapidly evolving region with strong economic growth, rising incomes and growing populations – factors that will increase regional demand for power.

“Renewables will be the key to addressing this growing demand and ensuring energy security, while powering the inclusive and sustainable economic development of the region,” Mr Amin said.

Accelerating the deployment of renewable energy offers enormous socio-economic benefits to the region, including the development of new value chains, job creation and improved livelihoods. In Southeast Asia, employment in the renewable energy sector currently stands at around 600,000. A scale-up of renewables in the region has the potential to create well over two million jobs by 2030, according to IRENA.

The partnership will see IRENA and ASEAN Energy Ministers work closely across a number of key implementation focus areas, including:

  • Energy planning in the context of integration of high-shares of renewables to the ASEAN energy mix.
  • Assessments and roadmaps for accelerated renewable energy deployment, including updates to the ASEAN Renewable Energy Outlook.
  • Promote knowledge sharing among regional policy makers to implement enabling renewable energy policy and regulatory frameworks to capitalise on the social and economic benefits of scaled up RE deployment.
  • Support the advancement of various renewable energy resources across ASEAN member states through detailed technology and innovation assessments and cost reduction potential analysis.
  • Enable the development of bankable RE projects and support for project facilitation through IRENA’s various project facilitation platforms.
  • Build capacity of policy makers, regulators, utilities and other key stakeholders in the region on various renewable energy topics through training and workshops.

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