Greenpeace Calls for an “Energy [R]evolution” in SEA

Press release Greenpeace SEA

Manila, 22 June 2010 – A new report released by Greenpeace shows how Southeast Asia’s economy can  be powered almost 100 percent by renewable energy by 2050, averting the worst impacts of climate change and avoiding the dangers brought about by the use of fossil fuels and nuclear energy.  Greenpeace called for an “Energy [R]evolution” in Southeast Asia on the eve of the 5th Asia Clean Energy Forum, hosted by the Asian Development Bank in Manila.
 
The latest version of the report, “Energy [R]evolution: a sustainable world energy outlook”[1], shows how, by 2050, 94%[2] of the electricity produced in Developing Asia[3] can come from renewables, which would in turn massively boost the power sector job market by as much as 700,000 — or 30% more jobs by 2020 than with a business-as-usual scenario.
 
“Investing in renewables in Southeast Asia can only further boost the region’s already fast growing economy.  Doing so will eliminate unpredictable fossil fuel costs, and the external costs of coal and nuclear energy use, such as health or environmental damages. It will also create more jobs than the coal and nuclear industries ever could,” said Sven Teske, Greenpeace International’s Senior Energy Expert and co-author of the report. “By 2020, there could be more than 400,000 jobs in the renewables industry in SEA, as the energy revolution scenario invests in jobs for people rather than in fossil fuels.”
 
Based on the ASEAN Plan of Action for Energy Cooperation (APAEC) 2010-2015, the target is to increase Renewable Energy installed capacity in the power generation mix by only 15%.  In contrast, coal supply for primary energy consumption is expected to increase by a factor of 5 until 2030, making the region five times more dependent on fossil fuel imports and on fluctuating world market prices.[4]
 
Southeast Asia can actually avoid this path and opt for an Energy [R]evolution development pathway from which the region can reap the massive benefits brought on by Renewable Energy-based low-carbon economies. Under an Energy [R]evolution scenario, development of the electricity supply sector is characterized by an increasing share of renewable electricity.
 
Under the advanced Energy [R]evolution scenario,[2] a  fast market development pathway, with high annual growth rates achieves a renewable electricity share of 59% by 2030 and 94% by 2050.  The installed capacity of renewables will reach 363 GW in 2030 and 1037 GW by 2050, 68% higher than the business-as-usual scenario.
 
“The industrial revolution created a world dependent on fossil fuels now locked in an unsustainable cycle which has been feeding ever-worsening climate change impacts.  Developing countries most at risk from these impacts, like those in Southeast Asia, are now presented with an opportunity to avoid this destructive path and immediately switch to RE and reap its benefits,” said Amalie Obusan, Greenpeace Southeast Asia Climate and Energy Campaigner.
 
“Southeast Asia’s governments must recognize that the sustainable future of the planet is rooted in the investment in people and local communities who can install and maintain renewable energy sources.  And, together with financial institutions such as the ADB, they should switch off their funding of dirty and finite fossil fuels, channel it to funding the Energy [R]evolution and urgently draft power policy legislation which will enable it to happen,” Obusan added. “There is no technological barrier in implementing the energy revolution- only political obstacles – to achieving this vision and reaping its many benefits in terms of the environment, the economy and jobs.”
 
The overall global annual market for renewable energy technology will increase from around US$100 billion today, to more than US$600 billion by 2030.  Southeast Asian nations could have an annual market volume of up to 50 billion per year and will have a lot to gain by taking advantage of this emerging trend, and phasing out fossil fuels which are set to become obsolete.
 
Key to making the Energy [R]evolution a reality is creating a system in which investment costs are shared fairly under a global climate regime.  One such mechanism, discussed in the report, is the Greenhouse Development Rights framework (GDR)[5], which calculates national shares of global greenhouse gas obligations based on a combination of responsibility (contribution to climate change) and capacity (ability to pay).
 
Copies of the “Energy [R]evolution: A sustainable World Energy Outlook” report can be downloaded at: and http://www.erec.org/.  The Energy Revolution scenarios for Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand, based on the first edition, were published in 2008 and are available at www.greenpeace.org/seasia, and http://www.energyblueprint.info/.

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