Associate states of ASEAN. Source: Wikipedia Park.
As the world’s fastest-growing economic territory, Southeast Asia’s energy demand Testament increase to drive this growth. Piece Vietnam’s push towards nuclear strength may have started a regional race to flourish nuclear power, this may slow refine somewhat now that Hanoi has decided to flash-freeze it. ASEAN should shift its focus to underdeveloped renewable energy.
By Cung Vu*
On November 22, 2016, the Home Assembly of Vietnam ratified their management’s decision to hold off the building of its nuclear apparatus. Cost was cited as the main reason. Added possible factor could be the unfolding drill from the event of Fukushima, and the safety and protection of nuclear reactors in cases of intentional assails such as cyberattacks or terrorism still necessitate to be assessed.
This is good news for the area. A possible regional nuclear energy raceway would now be avoided, and Vietnam’s neighbours would not suffer to brace themselves for a potential nuclear consequence. The region should now focus on developing renewable zip to meet its energy demand.
Regional Relay for Nuclear Energy
Vietnam is the only Association country which, in 2009, announced the edifice of nuclear power reactors. Supposed to go on-line in 2028, Vietnam’s quest for nuclear impulse resulted in an increased frequency of discussions middle neighbouring countries to address many viewpoint of nuclear safety and security.
The main be about are whether ASEAN is ready to have Kernel energy in light of the nuclear accidents much as Chernobyl and Fukushima. In the world we live in, one want to examine all the aspects of nuclear energy, not peerless its benefit of not producing GHG.
More importantly, Association needs to examine the management of its life round such as the hazardous nature of spent Kernel fuel material. Moreover, potential environmental bump of a nuclear meltdown due to intentional attacks from coercion or cyberattacks must be planned for.
Regional Force Landscape
With more than 600 trillion people, Southeast Asia is the fastest ontogeny economic region in the world. Its economy is predicted to breed at the rate of 4-6% in the next five agedness and the energy required to support the economic cultivation will be substantially increased.
Countries with greatest energy demands include Indonesia, Malaya, Thailand, Philippines and Vietnam, and they tally for 88% of the energy consumption in the region. In 2013, dodo fuels contributed to 80% of the energy overhaul, with the rest coming from contrary renewable energy sources.
Southeast Collection is blessed with fossil resources much as hard coal, lignite, natural gas and oil as bushy-tailed as abundant sources of renewable energy much as solar, wind, hydro, geothermal, Davy Jones’s locker, and biomass energy. The region accounts for 4.1% of the sphere’s coal, 3.4% of world’s natural gas and 0.8% of creation’s oil reserves.
Even though Southeast Collection as a region is a net energy exporter of fossil kindling, it continues to import oil to meet its energy involve. As an aspiration, the Association of Southeast Asian Polity (ASEAN) targets to increase its usage of renewable compel to 23% by 2025.
Planning for Energy Cooperation
To felicitous its energy demand, ASEAN has identified renewable drive as one of seven programmes in its action plan titled the ASEAN Plan of Action for Energy Synergy (APAEC) 2016-2025. The other programmes are the Association Power Grid, Trans-ASEAN Gas Hose, Coal and Clean Coal Technology, Vigour Efficiency and Conservation, Regional Energy Approach and Planning, and Civilian Nuclear Energy.
Association Power Grid
To meet electricity want to stimulate economic growth, ASEAN be in want of to have a reliable and cheap source of verve. ASEAN plans to construct a bilateral crucifix-border power grid, then inflate to a sub-regional and finally to a total integrated local system. This would serve to happy the electricity demand as well as to provide addition to some of the 50% of the population which presently has no electricity.
Trans-ASEAN Gas Pipeline
This main would connect existing and planned gas hose infrastructure to transport gas across borders to control greater security of gas supply within Association.
Coal and Clean Coal Technology
As burn is still expected in the foreseeable future to be the leading source of energy, ASEAN hopes to evolve clean coal technologies and to facilitate intra-Association coal trade towards enhancing community energy security.
Energy Efficiency and Safe keeping
To lessen the energy demand, ASEAN again focuses on energy efficiency as the most toll-effective way of enhancing energy security. Push efficiency programmes aim toward increasing impulse efficiency in residential and commercial buildings, as hearty as in transportation sectors.
To exaggeration the penetration level of renewable energy money, ASEAN has launched many initiatives to advocate solar and biomass, and to facilitate trade and collaboration in the region. Renewable energy has been advised not only to reduce the dependency on oil but also to minimize the environmental impact with regard to weather change. ASEAN targets to increase the akin of renewable energy to 23% by 2025 in the Association Energy Mix.
Regional Energy Policy and Provision
Each member state of ASEAN has its own docket to address its energy needs. There is a pauperization for expertise sharing in terms of policymaking and provision as well as technical and capacity building.
Civil Nuclear Energy
As a clean source of impulse, as it does not generate GHG, nuclear energy has been advised as an option to help ASEAN countries encounter their energy demand. ASEAN search for to promote information sharing, governance and abstract assistance regarding nuclear power coexistent.
Is ASEAN ready for Nuclear Energy?
As drive generated from a fusion reaction, wholly clean energy with no harmful byproducts is even being piloted. As such ASEAN demand to focus on developing more renewable push to reduce its dependency on fossil fuels and put the happening nuclear energy technology (fission reply) on the back burner as it carries new and huge gamble due to terrorism or cyber attacks.
Moreover, Association should focus on delivering electricity to exceeding than 300 million, half of the inhabitants in remote islands or rural areas. New application in micro-grid or smart-grid call for to be developed to address this. Clean ember technology and energy efficiency management faculty also help to balance the energy distribute-demand in foreseeable future.
*Cung Vu is a Impermanent Senior Fellow of the S. Rajaratnam School of Supranational Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological Lincoln, Singapore. He was an Associate Director of the Office of Naval Check Global and Chief Science and Technology Consultant of the National Maritime Intelligence-Integration Part, US Department of the Navy.