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PAPER
Accelerating the Indo-Pacific Energy Transition
29 November, 2022
Tulika Gupta, Shuva Raha, Kedar Sawant and Alisée Pornet

Suggested citation: Gupta, Tulika, Shuva Raha, Kedar Sawant and Alisée Pornet. 2022. Accelerating the Indo-Pacific Energy Transition, November 2022, Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW), and Agence Française de Développement (AFD).

Overview

The Indo-Pacific is home to 4.3 billion people – more than half of humanity. Studies indicate that the Indo-Pacific could meet ~90 per cent of its power demand using renewables such as solar and wind, but this needs a clear and defined vision for its energy future. This Working Paper focuses on six Indo-Pacific countries – Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Singapore, and Viet Nam, which collectively house a quarter of the world's population, explores the gaps in existing multilateral processes, and notes the critical requirements to accelerate the Indo-Pacific energy transition.

Key Findings

  • The Indo-Pacific is home to 4.3 billion people – more than half of humanity, and by 2050, is expected to drive most of the global energy demand. To achieve climate-compatible economic growth and meet the aspirations of its people, the Indo-Pacific needs to rapidly transition to clean, affordable and reliable sources of energy.
  • Five challenges must be addressed for the Indo-Pacific countries to achieve this energy transition – first, energy access and development disparities; second, bringing transition finance from the developed world to emerging markets; third, mismatched public and private sector actions; fourth, competition for dominance of critical mineral’s supply chain dominance; and fifth, cascading climate, geopolitical and domestic socio-economic risks.
  • This report examines the energy markets of six Indo-Pacific countries – Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Singapore, and Viet Nam – who need sensitive diplomacy and proactive multilateral cooperation to usher in the energy transition by overcoming socioeconomic, climate and geopolitical risks
  • This report recommends that Indo-Pacific countries must focus on five key areas:
    (i) Planned domestic and regional policymaking to improve interdependencies;
    (ii) improved project facilitation, risk pooling and new instruments to attract transition finance;
    (iii) enhanced supply chain resilience via diversified sources producer-consumer collaborations;
    (iv) technology co-development and sharing and liberalised intellectual property (IP) between technology-rich and resource-rich countries;
    (v) maintaining a sharp focus on the ecological imperative is essential for the energy transition.

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Tulika Gupta
Research Analyst & Coordinator
A unified Indo-Pacific energy narrative could transcend sub-regional groupings and accelerate the region's energy transition while enhancing energy security.
Executive Summary

The Inda-Pacific is home to 4.3 billion people - more than half of humanity, and by 2050, is expected to drive most of the global energy demand. To achieve climate-compatible economic growth and meet the aspirations of its people, the Inda-Pacific, which has 7 of the top 10 coal consuming countries, needs to rapidly transition to clean, affordable and reliable sources of energy. Studies indicate that the Inda-Pacific could meet ~90 percent of its power demand using renewables such as solar and wind, but this needs a clear and defined vision for its energy future.

Five challenges must be addressed for the lndo-Pacific countries to achieve this energy transition. First, bridging the energy access and development disparity across regions to enable a just transition; second, unlocking the funds, which remain concentrated in the developed world, to drive this energy transition; third, aligning and streamlining the disparate approaches of public and private actors that curtails local manufacturing capacities; fourth, converting the competition for critical minerals that restricts - and in the long run could seriously hamstring - renewables production, into constructive collaboration; and fifth, alleviating geopolitical tensions and domestic socioeconomic challenges that hinder rules-based trade partnerships.

The Inda-Pacific countries need sensitive diplomacy and proactive multilateral cooperation to usher in the energy transition by overcoming socioeconomic, climate and geopolitical risks.

This report focuses on six Inda-Pacific countries - Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Singapore, and Viet Nam, which collectively house a quarter of the world's population, as they transition to cleaner energy through distinct but interdependent pathways. Each country has ambitious climate targets, but needs significant transition finance to phase down fossil fuels and leverage renewable energy resources by bridging knowledge and technology gaps and strengthening supply chains.

This report examines the transition challenges faced by these six countries, explores the gaps in existing multilateral processes, and notes the critical requirements to accelerate the Inda-Pacific energy transition, including planned policymaking - domestic and regional - for the Inda-Pacific energy sector to improve energy interdependencies and address key vulnerabilities; improved project facilitation, risk pooling and innovative mechanisms to attract and generate transition finance; enhanced supply chain resilience through diversification and collaboration between producer and consumer countries to improve energy security, increase renewables uptake and boost local manufacturing; a strong emphasis on technology co-development and sharing and liberalised Intellectual Property (IP) regimes between technology-rich and resource-rich countries for broader uptake of green technologies; and a sharp and steady focus on the ecological imperative for this energy transition.

A unified Inda-Pacific energy narrative could transcend sub-regional groupings, accelerate the region's energy transition, and enhance overall energy security while defining a new developmental paradigm. For the people of the Inda-Pacific, this would mean more than a mere shift in energy sources. It would mean fulfilled aspirations for jobs, growth and sustainability through improved energy services and economic resilience .

HAVE A QUERY?
Tulika Gupta
Research Analyst & Coordinator

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