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Unlocking clean energy potential: Southeast Asia can reach 17TW of renewable energy - Report

Southeast Asia is on the cusp of a significant renewable energy transformation, according to a joint report by McKinsey & Company and the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) titled “Powering Progress in Southeast Asia’s Renewables Development.”


The report highlights the region’s vast potential for clean energy, boasting an estimated 16 terawatts (TW) of solar power and 1 TW of wind energy. Despite this potential, current non-firm renewable energy penetration sits at a mere 5% as of 2022.


The report emphasizes the urgency for Southeast Asia to accelerate its renewable energy deployment. To achieve net zero emissions targets (between 2050 and 2060), the region needs to significantly increase its annual renewable capacity additions, particularly for solar and onshore wind power.


The good news is there’s a clear path forward. The report outlines several opportunities to propel Southeast Asia’s renewable energy growth:


  • Developing a Robust Ecosystem: Building a strong ecosystem that fosters collaboration between governments, businesses, and research institutions is crucial.

  • Investment Opportunities: The report identifies sizable investment opportunities in renewable energy project development and clean energy manufacturing, attracting both domestic and international players.

  • Strategic Partnerships: Encouraging regional collaboration and power purchase agreements (PPAs) can help unlock clean energy resources and facilitate cross-border electricity trade.

  • Innovation and Technology: Embracing technological advancements like battery storage and smart grids will optimize renewable energy integration into the power grid.


By capitalizing on these opportunities, Southeast Asia can not only achieve its clean energy goals but also unlock economic benefits. The report estimates that developing a strong renewable energy manufacturing sector in the region could generate $90 billion to $100 billion in revenue by 2030 and create millions of new jobs.

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