Last year we took the bull by horns with the theme of ‘Shaping The Energy of Tomorrow’ at the Asia Pacific Energy Week. What’s in store for this year, you might ask? No spoilers from us, unfortunately! But sit tight and hear what last year’s speakers had to say about the previous conference, for a taste of what’s to come on 28 March!
Over 130 countries have pledged to achieve carbon neutrality by the deadline 2050. But is it a case of blah, blah, blah as youth climate activist Greta Thunberg mocked in her speech at last year’s Youth4Climate summit?
The International Energy Agency has mapped out a “narrow but still achievable” global pathway. However, this demands an immediate and mass-scale mobilization never before seen on a global scale.
How can we overhaul energy systems worldwide within 30 years? Where does one start in such a colossal task? Can pledges and commitments get us to where we need to go?
These questions, and more, will be addressed at the upcoming Energy Week from 28-29 March, a flagship regional conference organized by Siemens Energy. This year’s theme of "Making the Energy of Tomorrow Possible Today" is a continuation of the issues explored at last year’s Energy Week which focused on "Shaping the Energy of Tomorrow".
Energy experts have collectively rallied for the growing urgency to decarbonize—a pressure felt most keenly in Asia. The region accounts for over 50% of global energy consumption, with a booming appetite for energy still significantly reliant on fossil fuels such as coal. This undoubtedly poses a huge hurdle in Asia's path to carbon neutrality.
Connecting it All
CEO of Siemens Gamesa’s Offshore Business Marc Becker adds that “[safety] is a prerequisite, and must remain in focus.”
The conversion from fossil fuel to renewable energy also "requires political will, legislations and policies in place, the willingness to push for change and agreement of consumer to pay a higher premium (with renewables)", he added.
Offering his perspective, H.E. Alfonso G. Cusi, Energy Secretary, Department of Energy (Philippines), said Asia "needs to find the balance between accessibility, affordability, and sustainability".
Achieving net zero goals for the region will call for a complete supply chain of understanding, collaboration and agreement between the different parties, namely legislators, government and consumers.Dato' Nor Azman bin Mufti, Managing Director, TNB Power Generation Sdn Bhd
Rise of Renewables and Technology
The power of the sun, wind and even geothermal energy, found in abundance in Asia, could be vital to unlocking the region's clean energy potential.
To get there, Mr Francesco La Camera, Director General, The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), said there is a need to join forces. "Public sector and private sector must work in tandem for two main reasons. First, private sector capital will accelerate investment and there is a need for more public-private partnerships. Second, companies will translate emerging business strategies into viable business models, developing bankable projects and driving technological innovations."
Fortunately, digitalisation is accelerating the renewables transition. "Asia Pacific is not only the fastest-growing region, but also the fastest-transforming market," noted Dr Jochen Eikholt, Member of the Executive Board, Siemens Energy AG.
Indonesia, for one, plans to leverage technology to add more renewables to its energy mix.
In the next 10 years, we want to leverage on technology to build up capacity and infrastructure, including 18 priority transmissions, seven smart grid projects and renewable energy.H.E. Arifin Tasrif, Minister for Energy and Mineral Resources (Indonesia)
Driving the Hydrogen Revolution in Asia
The race is also on to drive hydrogen technology development.
Mr Edgare Kerkwijk, Advisory Board Member, Asia-Pacific Hydrogen Association, said: "The world has made a choice: The goal is zero carbon emissions, and clean hydrogen is a critical pillar to get there. The journey has just started, and it will keep us busy for many years. The keys to accelerating this journey are international cooperation, policies, and regulation to foster international trade."
Putting the pedal to the metal, South Australian Minister for Energy and Mining Dan van Holst Pellekaan details how Australia’s hydrogen roadmap is underscored by “20 specific actions across five important themes, with the objective of scaling-up renewable hydrogen production for domestic consumption and international export.”
Scaling up decarbonisation efforts comes at a price, of course. Roughly 30 trillion Euros by 2050, "if we are to decarbonise all our systems", said Dr Christian Bruch, Chief Executive Officer, Siemens Energy AG.
To accomplish this mammoth task, private capital is needed, as well as the appropriate political framework conditions. Again, it's all about collaboration. But, the good news here—this is growing enormously.Dr Christian Bruch, Chief Executive Officer, Siemens Energy AG