Indonesia Explores Energy Connectivity With Brunei, Malaysia, and Philippines

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The Indonesian government and the ASEAN Energy Business Forum are exploring opportunities for cooperation in electricity connectivity, including those originating from renewable energy, with Brunei Darussalam, Malaysia, and the Philippines in a bid to support energy security in the region.

“We will see what we can do because there is a need [for electricity] and in the case of increasing resource sharing,” the Indonesian Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry’s Secretary General, Dadan Kusdiana, said on the sidelines of the 41st ASEAN Energy Ministers Meeting and the ASEAN Energy Business Forum in Nusa Dua, Bali, on Thursday, August 24, 2023.

The governments and businessmen of the four countries planned to discuss the cooperation during the meeting in Nusa Dua. Dadan refused to disclose the potential value of the program as well as the business actors who will carry out the interconnection.

Dadan explained the scheme that Indonesia’s existing electricity connectivity with Malaysia would be extended to Brunei Darussalam. Meanwhile, the connectivity with the Philippines would be carried out via North Sulawesi.

This energy interconnection was expected to promote the transition to clean energy by capitalizing on the regional potential, for example, Kalimantan which borders Indonesia and Malaysia has the potential for hydropower as a renewable energy source.

Likewise, the Philippines has the potential for geothermal energy resources, Dadan informed.

Andy Tirta, the chairperson of ASEAN Energy Business Forum (AEBF) 2023, explained that the electrical interconnectivity of several Southeast Asian countries had been implemented in 2022, linking Laos, Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore.

He assessed that this interconnectedness has opened up the door for investment, including investment in the clean energy sector. “So this is real cooperation. The goods exist, the market is available, and this is not a hard sell to investors,” Andy said.

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) noted that ASEAN requires US$29 trillion in financing until 2050 to implement the energy transition with a 100 percent renewable energy scheme.

Meanwhile, a study by the International Energy Agency (IEA) found that Indonesia needs nearly threefold its current energy investment by 2030, or an extra US$8 billion per year, to support clean energy.