betty July 15, 2022

SINGAPORE – Countries stand to better harness the untapped renewable energy potential in South-east Asia, stimulate clean energy investment and generate new green jobs when they work together.

Highlighting the importance of such international collaboration in achieving these green aims, Second Minister for Trade and Industry Tan See Leng and the United States Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm underscored the importance of energy cooperation between the two countries.

The two leaders, who met on the sidelines of the US-South-east Asia Clean Energy Roundtable at the Shangri-La Hotel on Thursday (July 14), affirmed the importance of strengthened US-Singapore cooperation on energy security, clean energy transitions and regional energy interconnectivity.

In a joint ministerial statement, they said that they welcomed efforts by policymakers, the private sector and financiers to scale up the deployment of renewables and emerging low-carbon energy technologies in the region.

“Stronger public-private partnerships are needed to further advance regional clean energy transitions. Companies should continue to actively innovate and drive sustainability at the core of their business models,” said the leaders.

Welcoming deeper cooperation to enhance energy security and strengthen grid resilience, the ministers expressed interest in a feasibility study on enhancing energy connectivity in the region.

“Enhancing energy connectivity would enable mutual support for the region’s power systems, while facilitating regional power electricity trading,” they said.

In a speech at the event, Dr Tan said that the Asean region needs to scale up its deployment of low-carbon technologies that are already commercially available and cost-competitive. It also needs to work together on emerging technologies such as hydrogen, and to make the transition to clean energy in a pragmatic manner.

Emerging regions like South-east Asia face the continued challenge of managing increasing energy demand with economic growth. Dr Tan noted that the International Energy Agency estimates that the Asia-Pacific will account for half of the expected growth in global gas demand up to 2025.

He also said that gas use in the region could increase by 40 per cent between 2020 and 2030, according to the South-east Asia Energy Outlook 2022 report.

Calling this increase significant, Dr Tan stressed that even as efforts to deploy renewable energy are accelerated, work needs to continue to ensure that there are sufficient investments in gas supply chains to meet the growth in its demand.

“The choices we make now are going to set the direction of the energy transition for several generations to come,” he said.