Kuala Lumpur – As ASEAN strives towards establishing an ASEAN Community by 2015, it is important to ensure that such development is sustainable through, among other areas, mitigating greenhouse gas emission thus contributing to global climate change abatement.
In support of this idea, the ASEAN Connectivity through Trade and Investment project also sets its goal to support the implementation of the ASEAN – U.S. Energy Cooperation Work Plan. Recognizing the limited global reserve of fossil energy and the unstable world prices of fuel oil, it is important for ASEAN to emphasize the need to strengthen renewable energy development, such as bio-fuels, and promote open trade, facilitation and cooperation in the renewable energy sector and related industries, as well as invest in the requisite infrastructure for renewable energy development.
A one-day USAID workshop to build capacity in ASEAN on implementing distributed renewable energy is conducted aiming to highlight the economic benefits of renewable energy by increasing the degree of rural electrification while increasing the energy security as well as mitigating greenhouse gas emissions in the ASEAN region.
The workshop include a presentation of case studies with emphasis on small wind and solar thermal in addition to other technologies. The workshop also feature the climate/weather risk protection attributes of certain renewable energy technologies. Examples of potentially productive case studies in ASEAN member states include solar-powered well pump systems in rural Thai villages, solar refrigeration systems for rural healthcare in Lao PDR, small wind systems for power and irrigation in Indonesia, and agricultural biogas programs in Vietnam.