IRENA says that Southeast Asia needs to invest $210 billion annually in renewables in order to meet its energy needs.

IRENA says that Southeast Asia needs to invest $210 billion annually in renewables in order to meet its energy needs.

The investment is more than two and a half times the amount currently planned by Southeast Asian governments to reach their goals, IRENA said.

Southeast Asia needs to increase its investment in renewable energy if it wants to meet its goal of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

In order to meet this target, IRENA says that Southeast Asian nations need to invest more than $210 billion in renewable energy, energy efficiency and supporting technologies and infrastructure. This is more than two and a half times the amount that is currently planned by Southeast Asian governments.

IRENA Director-General Francesco La Camera said that "Coal retirement, coupled with renewables and regional grid interconnection, is an indispensable step to aligning with net-zero targets."

Half of the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have pledged to stop using coal in the power sector, but La Camera said climate commitments require concerted and accelerated action "that must begin now to have a hope of success."

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Southeast Asia is home to 25% of the world's geothermal generation capacity, but the region also has major coal reserves.

While half of the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have pledged to stop using coal in the power sector, La Camera said climate commitments required concerted and accelerated action "that must begin now to have a hope of success."

Southeast Asia is home to 25% of the world's geothermal generation capacity, but the region also has major coal reserves. The region's biggest economy Indonesia is the world's top exporter of thermal coal.

While half of the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have pledged to stop using coal in the power sector, La Camera said climate commitments required concerted and accelerated action "that must begin now to have a hope of success."

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The region aims to have 23% of its primary energy supplied by renewables by 2025, however, investments in recent years show mixed progress, IRENA said.

"Accelerating energy transition is crucial in order to meet climate goals and support the region’s economic growth," said Nuki Agya Utama, executive director of the ASEAN Centre for Energy, adding the bloc remained committed to its 2025 goals.

Despite this commitment, IRENA's report found that investments in renewables have been mixed in recent years. In 2018, for example, renewable energy investment in Southeast Asia fell by 3% to $23.6 billion. This was largely due to a decrease in investment in large-scale hydropower projects.

IRENA said countries could by investing more in renewables reduce their energy costs and avoid as much as $1.5 trillion of costs related to health and environmental damage from fossil fuels up to 2050.

A key finding of the report is that countries in Southeast Asia could save money by investing more heavily in renewables. IRENA estimates that, by 2050, these investments could save the region up to $1.5 trillion in costs related to health and environmental damage from fossil fuels.

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