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Energy Transition Pathways for the 2030 Agenda in Asia and the Pacific

Regional Trends Report on Energy for Sustainable Development 2018

image of Energy Transition Pathways for the 2030 Agenda in Asia and the Pacific

The Asia and the Pacific region has become a global economic powerhouse. The region’s rapid and sustained economic growth, increasing population, expanding industrialisation and rapid urbanization are driving rapid growth in energy demand, which. Ensuring that supplies of energy are adequate to meet the growth in demand in ways that are socially, economically and environmentally responsible creates a new set of challenges for policymakers. The transition to 2030 energy pathway, which is aimed at addressing those challenges, has four coherent and interlinked objectives – increased energy supply to meet the growing demand, improved energy security, meeting the SDG7 targets and achieving NDCs. Addressing the complex and challenging task requires policymakers to develop a clear, sustainable and achievable pathway that would enable the countries, as well as the region as a whole, to achieve the 2030 goals and targets This report undertakes an in-depth analysis to first determine the level of achievement is possible under the current policy regime by developing a baseline. It then identifies the gap between the baseline and the 2030 targets to inform policymakers the additional efforts and resources that would be needed to adequately achieve SDG7 targets as well as the NDCs mitigation targets for the energy sector. Finally, different transition pathways have been developed and their socio-economic and environmental facets have been examined to assist policymakers to make an informed decision. The report also identifies the enabling policy, technology and market environment that would accelerate the achievement of the 2030 targets.

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Identifying the gap

The current policy scenario will almost miss universal access to electricity, leaving 63 million people without access, i.e., 28 million in South-East Asian and 20 million in East and North-East Asia. On the other hand, there will be a large gap in access to clean cooking fuel, leaving 1.6 billion people still cooking with traditional biomass and causing an estimated 2 million premature deaths from indoor pollution. The share of renewable energy will need to grow by 8 percentage points compared with the current policy scenario, which represents an increase of 15.2 percentage points over the 2014 share. To achieve the NDC scenario, the share of renewable energy will fall short of 21 percentage points compared with the current policy scenario. Energy intensity will fall short of 1.5 MJ per dollar, which is still half of the progress made during 1990-2014. The investment gap in renewable energy, compared with the current policy scenario, is estimated to be $101 billion and $282 billion for the SDG and NDC scenarios, respectively. In order to successfully implement the energy transition, a massive transformation of the existing policy frameworks is needed, such as aligning national energy policies with the 2030 Agenda and attracting private investment.

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