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- Juan Ignacio Rubiolo
Rebounding from the pandemic with 6% real GDP growth, the Asia Pacific region underpinned most of the 2021 global increase in power generation, witnessing one of the region’s strongest annual natural gas demand increases over the last decade. Economic growth impacts both energy demand and energy mix as policies adjust, balancing economic growth, supply security, and sustainability. Asia Pacific faces the net zero test: meeting growing energy demand while lowering emissions to meet the Asian energy transition requirements. Major Asian economies have announced net-zero emission goals for the next 30 to 50 years. Partnerships across domains of energy, technology, and finance will be essential for the energy transition. Which technologies will drive Asia Pacific’s energy mix? Which mature and new technologies will meet net-zero targets, while securing energy demand? How will energy technology partnerships evolve to meet the requirements of the Asia Pacific energy mix? What criteria will the financial sector deploy to fund energy transition in Asia Pacific?
Since the publication of IEA’s “A Roadmap to Net-Zero” last May, there have been numerous reports and scenarios on how to get to net-zero emissions globally by 2050 or later. In most of these scenarios, electricity will be the linchpin of the global energy system by 2040 (or earlier), with almost half of the global energy consumption in the form of electricity. To achieve this, the bulk of electricity will have to come from renewable and non-fossil sources. Simultaneously, the electricity systems will have to be modernized and become highly flexible while maintaining stability and reliability. Extreme weather events and cyber security will be just two of the many challenges for the electricity system. How are two of the world’s leading electricity companies building their roads to net-zero emissions and beyond? How realistic is the goal to make global electricity generation net-zero emissions by 2050? How is digitalization driving decarbonization in the electricity sector? What is needed to accelerate energy investments in developing countries and at a lower cost of capital? What is a “just transition” and why is it important?