Jakarta, July 25, 2023 – Indonesia, as the current chair of the Association of Southeast Asia Nations (ASEAN) has taken a significant stride towards a sustainable and greener future with the successful inauguration of the ASEAN Solar Summit 2023. This momentous event, organized by the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, in collaboration with the Indonesian Solar Energy Association (AESI) and the Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR), convened esteemed leaders, experts, and stakeholders from across the globe to promote solar energy as a key driver in the region’s energy transition.
Held in Jakarta, the ASEAN Solar Summit 2023 aimed to enhance and accelerate energy transition in ASEAN member states with solar energy, cultivates active solar-focused partnerships within the region and globally, boosts clean energy investment, and showcases successful solar stories for knowledge exchange. This monumental gathering was attended by high-level policy makers in ASEAN and partner countries, business players, financial institutions, and non-governmental organizations, that addressed vital aspects of solar energy deployment, including policy frameworks, technological innovations and sustainable investment strategies.
In the remarks of Minister of Industry, Republic of Indonesia, which was delivered by Taufiek Bawazier, Director-General of Metal, Machinery, Transportation Equipment, and Electronics Industries at the Ministry of Industry of the Republic of Indonesia, he stated that the Ministry of Industry encourages the domestic solar energy industry.
“However, the current domestic market with the scale of the economy has not been fully met yet. Coordinating and collaborating in the planning of solar power development is essential, involving small and medium enterprises (SMEs), relevant ministries, local governments, and the private sector. This way, the development of solar PV products can align with the specifications required for solar panel construction,” Bawazir said.
He also added that currently, the domestic solar panel industry has made progress. Until now, the total production capacity of the industry has reached the equivalent of 1,600 MW.
“Nevertheless, the specifications of domestically-produced solar modules must continue to improve to meet the demand of the current solar panel development plans, especially for modules with a capacity above 550 watts-peak. Moreover, it is necessary to explore upstream needs to meet national demands,” Bawazir continued.
Director General of NREEC, Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, Republic of Indonesia, Dr. Dadan Kusdiana highlighted that ASEAN possesses advantages in terms of solar supply chain, including abundance of critical minerals and key ingredients for solar components. It is important to bring insights from this summit to the ASEAN energy ministerial meeting next month to sound the call to action for a consolidated effort in increasing the implementation of solar energy in the region, and developing the solar industry’s supply chain within our country.
“It should be carried out through strong cooperation and collaboration among ASEAN countries to massively increase the use of renewable energy, particularly solar energy,” Kusdiana said.
Fabby Tumiwa, the Executive Director of the Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR), stated that meeting the Paris Agreement’s target to limit global temperature increase of 1.5 degrees and combat the climate crisis offers several new economic opportunities.
“It can be achieved, if we collectively act boldly and ambitiously to transition our energy system from fossil fuel to clean energy. This is where solar energy plays a crucial role. Southeast Asia must ensure affordable access to solar technology by establishing a solar PV manufacturing and supply chain that includes polysilicon, ingot, and other components,” Tuwima highlighted.
He urged ASEAN to pursue strong cooperation in developing solar PV manufacturing capabilities and investing in the solar PV supply chain, with the growing domestic demand serving as an anchor market.
“We request both the industry and energy ministries, in the upcoming ministerial meeting, to investigate the possibility of establishing an ASEAN solar PV manufacturing and supply chain. This initiative would strengthen our mutual economic interests and promote prosperity within the region,” Tumiwa said.
Andhika Prastawa, Chairman of the Advisory Board AESI, highlighted some challenges faced in developing solar energy in the country, including the competitiveness of solar, energy storage, and the high dependency on fossil fuels due to their reliable and continuous power at a relatively lower cost.
“Despite these challenges, we must remain optimistic and work towards breakthroughs in renewable energy, particularly solar energy. It not only provides us with clean energy but also promotes sustainability. The size of the domestic potential market is also attractive for the development of the manufacturing industry for solar PV and its components. However, significant efforts, research, and innovation are essential to support the industry and discover new approaches to harness solar energy efficiency,” Prastawa said.
ASEAN’s commitment to sustainable development extends beyond national borders, and the region actively collaborates on energy-related initiatives. The ASEAN Solar Summit 2023, hosted by Indonesia during its chairmanship for 2023, serves as a platform for fostering regional cooperation, knowledge exchange and partnerships in the solar energy sector. Through collaborative efforts, ASEAN member states can share best practices, pool resources, and collectively address common challenges in implementing solar energy projects and to attract collaborations as well as investments from its global partners. Such synergy will amplify the impact of solar energy development and accelerate the region’s transition towards a cleaner and more sustainable energy landscape.