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Meeting the ASEAN’s rapid rising energy demand is challenging policymakers while they have tried to balance commitments to global, regional and national agendas on climate change and sustainable energy. Decisive action by the region’s policymakers is needed in order to transition and expand energy systems to sustainably and equitably deliver modern energy services.

Tracking the region’s progress toward achieving targets under SDG 7 in the areas of ensuring universal access to electricity and clean cooking, increasing the renewable energy share of the energy mix, and accelerating energy efficiency serves to illuminate the challenges leading up to 2030. Several ASEAN countries have achieved 100% electrification, while clean cooking technology is being actively developed to phase out the use of polluting household solid fuels. Renewable energy installations and production are on a strong upward trend. The region’s energy intensity remains among the world’s lowest. However, national advancements in these areas are highly varied, and the rates of progress are too slow in many cases to fully realize the 2030 vision.

If ASEAN is to support the achievement of the SDG 7 target to double the rate of energy intensity improvement, much more aggressive measures are needed than the path set by current policies. Enabling all of these SDG 7 objectives is investment in clean energy, which is falling well short of required levels. More work is needed to meet the challenges of rapidly evolving energy markets, including comprehensive planning and robust policy and regulatory frameworks. The ASEAN Member States have shared objectives to advance the sustainable energy agenda. Many of the strategies and tools needed to advance sustainable energy already exists within the region. In support of knowledge-sharing among Member States, this publication not only provides an overview of progress towards global SDG 7 targets and regional targets under the ASEAN framework, but also offers a country-by-country review of efforts under each of the major themes.

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