IEA: Southeast Asia's dependence on oil increases energy security challenges - Energy

The International Energy Agency has issued a warning of the growing energy security challenges for Southeast Asian countries as a result of their continued dependence on fossil fuels, calling on those countries to accelerate the transition towards clean energy.

The agency said in a report issued today, Tuesday, that Southeast Asian countries face a major vulnerability with the current global energy crisis, amid their dependence on fossil fuels to meet the rising demand for energy.

She stressed that Southeast Asian countries’ transition to new energy accelerates access to clean electricity for citizens of these countries and provides greater job opportunities in the field of new and renewable energy, in parallel with reducing carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels.

Oil bill doubled

According to estimates by the International Energy Agency, energy demand in Southeast Asia is expected to grow by 3% until 2030, and three-quarters of that increased demand will be met by fossil fuels, which means that carbon dioxide emissions from that region will rise by 35% Compared to 2020 levels.

International Energy Agency
An oil refinery off the coast of Singapore (Photo: Reuters)

The IEA has warned that the failure of Southeast Asian countries to take policies to reduce the use of fossil fuels could double the oil import bill, which reached $50 billion in 2020.

In turn, the Executive Director of the International Energy Agency, Fatih Birol, believes that the rapid economic development of Southeast Asian countries, with their heavy weight in global energy, emphasizes the need for countries in that region to speed up the transition to sustainable energy.

The report of the Energy Agency indicated that international support will play an important role in developing the infrastructure needed by Southeast Asian countries to generate electricity from renewable energy and establish low-emission fuel facilities.

The Paris-based agency believes that the total energy investment in the countries of the region must reach about 190 billion dollars annually by 2030 to meet the climate goals in Southeast Asia, up from 70 billion dollars during the period between 2016 and 2020.

The report of the Energy Agency stressed that the member countries of the Southeast Asian region have capabilities that help them reduce financing costs and attract the private sector to invest in the new and renewable energy sector, provided that they commit to deploying low-carbon energy and improving regulatory and financing frameworks.

A major source of important minerals

electric carsThe IEA report expects Southeast Asia to play a key role in global energy transitions as a major exporter of important minerals and manufacturer of clean energy products.

For example, Indonesia and the Philippines are the world’s largest producers of nickel, and Indonesia and Myanmar are second and third globally in the production of tin – the chemical element frequently used in coating food cans to prevent food corrosion.

Myanmar produces 13% of rare earth minerals globally, and Southeast Asian countries provide 6% of bauxite – the natural ore used in the aluminum industry – globally.

In the same context, Malaysia and Vietnam were the second and third largest manufacturers of solar PV modules in the world.

While Thailand ranks eleventh among the largest car manufacturers in the world, with expectations that it will be a major center for the electric car industry.

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