Climate Change Drives Southeast Asia Toward Energy Sharing
The pressing need for Southeast Asian nations to transition to clean energy as a response to climate change is rekindling a 20-year-old plan for the region to collaborate on energy sharing, as reported by Aniruddha Ghosal and Victoria Milko for the Associated Press (AP).
Last month, Malaysia and Indonesia signed an agreement in Bali, Indonesia, to explore 18 locations where cross-border transmission lines can be established. I Photo: General Electric
Last month, Malaysia and Indonesia signed an agreement in Bali, Indonesia, to explore 18 locations where cross-border transmission lines can be established.
These connections could generate an amount of power roughly equivalent to the output of 33 nuclear power plants annually. They are both economically and technically feasible and have garnered support from regional governments.
Beni Suryadi, a power expert at the ASEAN Center for Energy in Jakarta, Indonesia, expressed this sentiment.
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) consists of 10 countries spanning from Brunei and Singapore to Myanmar, controlled by the military, and the rapidly growing economic power of Vietnam.
Experts describe Singapore's import of hydroelectric power from Laos through transmissions across Thailand and Malaysia as a "pathfinder" project. This marks the first time that four countries in the region have agreed to trade electricity.
According to the Global Interconnection Journal, cross-border power purchases accounted for just 2.7% of the region's capacity in 2017, but these transactions were limited to two countries, such as Laos and Thailand.
Now, more countries are considering power sharing as a means to reduce their reliance on coal and fossil fuels.
Vietnam aims to establish a regional grid that would allow it to sell clean energy, such as offshore wind power, to neighboring nations. Simultaneously, the Malaysian province of Sarawak is exploring the sale of its hydropower to neighboring Indonesia.