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How our use of energy will change in the next five years.
Clashes in the South China Sea, rising fuel prices, nuclear disasters and choking smog levels have brought energy issues sharply into focus in the region. As the deadline for ASEAN’s Vision 2020 gets nearer, will the region transition to a unified economic group, connected by power, gas and water networks, working together to promote energy efficiency?
Ipsos Business Consulting believes the future will involve a more complex array of energy options, but not necessarily a unified ASEAN program. In a whitepaper on this topic, author Tim Hill has outlined the energy trends that will shape the region. New technologies and practices will emerge in the latter part of this decade which will change the way the region extracts, produces, distributes and consumes energy. Hill hopes that some of these trends will enable ASEAN’s economies to grow without further damage to the environment.
From national grids to micro-grids and off-grid power
160M people in ASEAN (about 28% of the region) have no electricity. Getting full access to all through extending the grid will prove challenging and expensive. Micro-grids, such as the one operating as a test centre in Pulau Ubin will help to bridge this gap. Smaller plants powered by hybrid fossil and renewable sources will help to bring electricity to rural communities in Southeast Asia that previously have had to rely on generators. Remote areas will benefit from advances in technology with solar power and battery storage that will create enough electricity for lighting and other low level devices. In the cities more households will take on individual solar panels to reduce their electricity bills.
Other parts of the world are using electric cars and buses, and Singapore is looking at options in this space. SMRT added 600 Toyota Prius hybrid cars to its fleet at the end of last year and there are experiments with fully electric cars. Charging stations are starting to appear in select parts of Singapore.
Electric two wheelers are going to experience a tenfold increase during the course of this decade. Electric bikes are likely to replace petrol motorbikes and scooters throughout the region which will help to manage smog levels as urban populations grow.
Other types of electric personal transport such as Segways, scooters, skateboards etc are starting to pop up in our parks. These will become more mainstream forms of transport for short commutes during the rest of the decade. Governments in the region have been slow to recognise the advantages of electric two wheelers, seeing it as something that needs to be regulated and kept off the roads and off the walkways. This will change as the advantages of low cost, low speed vehicles become more mainstream