The 7th ASEAN Energy Outlook (AEO7) Dissemination to Malaysia

Published on Wednesday, May 31, 2023

On May 10th, 2023, The Institute of Energy Policy and Research (IEPRe), Universiti Tenaga Nasional (UNITEN) in collaboration with the ASEAN Centre for Energy (ACE) organized a symposium entitled ‘The 7th ASEAN Energy Outlook (AEO7) Dissemination to Malaysia”. The speakers of this symposium are Dr. Zulfikar Yurnaidi, Manager of Energy Modelling and Policy Planning (MPP), ACE, and Ms. Rika Safrina, Senior Officer of Energy Modelling and Policy Planning (MPP), ACE. The symposium was held at BA-4-027, Level 4 of BA Building, UNITEN, and streamed online via MsTeams.

The symposium commenced with an introduction from Ts. Dr. Siti Indati Mustapa, Deputy Dean (Research and Innovation), UNITEN Business School (UBS) and Senior Research Fellow of Institute of Energy Policy and Research (IEPRe). Ts. Dr. Siti Indati mentioned that the symposium was held to disseminate the outcome of the 7th ASEAN Energy Outlook (AEO7) launched by ACE. The AEO7 marks the first ASEAN energy outlook that is built upon a strong foundation of data and modelling insights from the strong cooperation, interaction, and integration between the ASEAN Centre for Energy (ACE) and the ten (10) ASEAN Member States (AMS) namely Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. The AEO7 is guided by the policy actions from the ASEAN Regional Energy Policy and Planning Sub-sector Network (REPP-SSN) and supported by international entities through the ASEAN-German Energy Programme (AGEP), Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) of Japan, and ASEAN Climate Change and Energy Project (ACCEPT).

Subsequently, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) of UNITEN, Yang Berbahagia Prof. Dato’ Ts. Dr. Mohd Zamri Yusoff delivered his welcoming remarks. Yang Berbahagia Prof. Dato’ Ts. Dr. Mohd Zamri highlighted that energy is at the centre of the solution to tackling climate change. As countries globally move towards a low-carbon economy, a radical transition in many areas is required, including building on regional cooperation for renewable energy integration. In supporting the national energy transition agenda, UNITEN has established the National Energy Centre (NEC) to house six (6) energy centres of excellence to enhance collaboration with experts from renowned local and foreign universities, energy agencies, and stakeholders, with the aspiration of making Malaysia a regional energy hub.

The participants were then invited to join a brief warming-up session organized via the Kahoot platform. The warming-up session consists of 9 questions ranging from demographic to opinions on energy issues. The session was joined by 46 participants, including online participants. Next, Dr. Zulfikar Yurnaidi gave the first presentation entitled “ASEAN Energy Outlook (AEO) and Its Roles in Regional Energy Cooperation”. Dr. Zulfikar introduced the roles and responsibilities of ACE, the intergovernmental organisation within the ASEAN structure that represents the 10 ASEAN Member States’ interests in the energy sector. The focus of the ASEAN Plan of Action for Energy Cooperation (APAEC) was highlighted which includes (i) enhancing energy connectivity and market integration in ASEAN to achieve energy security, accessibility, affordability, and sustainability for all, and (ii) accelerating energy transition and strengthening energy resilience through greater innovation and cooperation. He iterated that the ASEAN Energy Outlook (AEO) complements the APAEC and supports the creation of pathways for achieving regional targets. Guided by APAEC’s Programme Area on Regional Energy Policy and Planning, ACE plans to publish regular regional energy outlooks and strategic reports on the thematic issue. He then briefly explained the modeling tool used in the AEO, which is the Low Emissions Analysis Platform (LEAP) software, a scenario-based and demand-driven modelling tool that can be used to track energy consumption, production, and resource extraction in all sectors of an economy. In AEO7, four scenarios were constructed namely the Baseline Scenario, AMS Targets Scenario (ATS), APAEC Targets Scenario (APS) and the Least-Cost Optimisation Scenario (LCO).
Ms Rika continued to discuss the findings and recommendations from AEO7. She highlighted the industry and transport sectors remain the largest energy-consuming sectors in the region, up to 2050, as the regional energy demand continues to rise to triple that of the 2020 levels by 2050. In all scenarios, fossil fuel (i.e., oil, natural gas, and coal) remains the largest source of fuel. Ms Rika reiterated that to reach the APAEC targets in 2025, energy efficiency measures need to be coupled with an increasing share of renewable energy. The AEO7 also projected that in the baseline scenario, without significant discoveries and/or additions to the existing production and utilization of fossil fuels, ASEAN would become a net importer of natural gas and coal from 2025 and 2029, respectively. The outlook also observed the preference for nuclear and battery energy storage as installed fuel capacity shifts toward 2050. Cost characteristics of power generation system were also evaluated for each scenario, with findings that the power sector investment cost is strongly impacted by the energy efficiency measures by end-users, while the highest reduction in terms of production cost comes from the savings in fuel cost, followed by capital cost. Ms Rika also highlighted the vast opportunity for green job creation, with a majority of 67% jobs related to hydropower plants, followed by 19% jobs related to solar.

The 30-minute presentation was followed by a Q&A session. Among significant questions raised by the attendees include:

  1. Recently there has been news on the shutdown of nuclear power plants in Germany and Japan. Why are you suggesting nuclear for ASEAN countries, despite shutdowns in some developed countries?
  2. According to your model, we will still be utilising non-renewable energy to meet the energy demand in 2050. Can we meet the net-zero target in 2050?
  3. Given the intermittency of renewable energy-based systems, is it possible to achieve energy security and flexibility by relying on battery energy storage?
  4. What are the strategies and policies in ASEAN countries related to energy efficiency? Are they considered in this model?
  5. What is your opinion on utilising shale oil exploration to achieve sustainable developmental goals (SDGs)?
  6. What is the outlook for hydrogen for power generation in the ASEAN region?
  7. In modelling an energy outlook, accuracy is important. Can you share how you manage accuracy in modelling AEO7?
  8. Is there any collaborative discussion on carbon tax and ESG reporting amongst the ten ASEAN member states?

At the end of the 2-hours symposium, the Director of IEPRe, Dr. Nora Yusma gave her closing remarks, highlighting that the modeling done by ACE and the discussion on the implementation of the energy transition shall benefit the ASEAN member states in achieving energy sustainability and net-zero. Key takeaways for Malaysia include the importance of long-term energy planning and regional cooperation to achieve net-zero with a pragmatic approach.

The slides for the symposium can be downloaded here.