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Southeast Asian nations set region-wide renewable energy goal of 23 percent by 2025

[The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)] has set an ambitious target of securing 23 percent of its primary energy from renewable sources by 2025 with energy demand in the region is expected to grow by 50 percent. According to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), this objective entails a “two-and-a-half-fold increase in the modern renewable energy share compared to 2014.”

With the rapidly declining cost of renewable energy generation via such methods as wind and solar photovoltaic (PV), the Southeast Asian region has been presented with a golden opportunity to meet its immense electricity demand in a cost-effective and sustainable manner.

A Southeast Asia Energy Outlook report states that through this, local manufacturing industries will also be able to grow. For example, Malaysia is already the world’s third-largest producer of photovoltaic cells, while investment in Thailand’s solar manufacturing industry is increasing PV output for global markets. By deploying more renewable energy in the region, the economies of these ASEAN member states can be further strengthened.

Rising energy needs and changing supply-demand dynamics are creating new and tough challenges for Southeast Asia’s policymakers. Despite existing opportunities created by appropriate policies, some challenges require a region-wide approach.

“The accelerated adoption of renewable energy offers broad environmental, economic and social benefits, including creating jobs, reducing air pollution and tackling climate change,” said Adnan Z Amin, IRENA’s Director-General Emeritus. “Policymakers and other development actors should prioritise investment in clean, reliable and affordable energy as a pillar of development across the region,” he added.

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