The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Regional Development Mission for Asia’s (RDMA) flagship clean energy initiative, the USAID Southeast Asia Smart Power Program (SPP) signed an agreement with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Centre for Energy (ACE) to decarbonize and strengthen the region’s power system by increasing regional energy trade and accelerating the deployment of clean energy technologies.
The signing ceremony, which took place immediately following the 14th ASEAN-U.S. Senior Officials Meeting on Energy, delivers on the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitments to expand the U.S.-ASEAN Strategic Partnership through the Climate Futures Initiative.
Kate Rebholz, Chargé d’Affaires a.i. of the U.S. Mission to ASEAN, welcomed this announcement. She noted, “At the 2022 ASEAN-U.S. Special Summit, President Biden reaffirmed our joint resolve to help ASEAN enhance Southeast Asia’s energy transition and improve its resilience, and to do so in an inclusive and just manner.” Ms. Rebholz added, “USAID SPP’s agreement with the ASEAN Centre for Energy advances our shared vision of an open, inclusive, and resilient Indo-Pacific, and a clean and prosperous future for the ASEAN region and its member states.”
Dr. Steven G. Olive, USAID/RDMA Mission Director, attended the ceremony and noted that USAID’s prior regional program, USAID Clean Power Asia, worked closely with ACE from 2019 to 2021 on a groundbreaking study of the potential to expand regional power trading across Southeast Asia. “Under the agreement with ACE, our joint efforts will intensify to advance energy cooperation in this region,” said Dr. Olive. “This is in line with USAID’s own Climate Strategy target to mitigate six billion metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent, mobilize $150 billion for climate finance, and improve the climate resilience of 500 million people across the globe.”
The agreement provides a pathway for SPP to support ACE during implementation of the ASEAN Plan of Action for Energy Cooperation (APAEC), which aims to increase clean and reliable power, alleviate inefficiencies that threaten economic stability, reduce air pollution, improve management of critical infrastructure, and advance climate mitigation priorities. “The agreement will equip ACE with the tools and resources to advance regional efforts to implement APAEC,” said Dr. Nuki Agya Utama, ACE’s Executive Director. “This partnership is critical to help ASEAN achieve our regional targets in 2025.”
Through this cooperation, USAID and ASEAN seek to increase the regional renewable energy share and the installed renewable energy capacity to 23 percent and 35 percent, respectively, by 2025.