Weak Government Strategy is Key Barrier to Energy Transition: Survey

  • 70% in favour of ASEAN-wide treaty to realise a common power grid
  • 44% believe the energy transition will occur at the cost of economic growth

Weak Government Strategy is Key Barrier to Energy Transition: Survey

84% of industry practitioners called for new governance frameworks and standards to manage the carbon intensity of energy, including the implementation of carbon taxes and incentives for green energy, to enable net zero goals over the next decade. This is among the findings of a survey conducted by the Sustainable Energy Association of Singapore (SEAS). 64% of respondents also cited weak government strategies as the top barrier to the energy transition followed by difficulty in implementing cross-border initiatives. SEAS - a non-profit, non-government business association - represents the interests and provides a common platform for companies in Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency, and Financial Institutions to meet, discuss, collaborate and undertake viable projects together. The survey was conducted among 150 industry professionals from the clean energy industries within the region.

Among the key findings, respondents are confident that over the next 10 years, the greatest progress will be in renewable energy production (27%), while, in contrast, less than 10% of respondents believe there will be advancements in policy and governance.

Also of interest is the ongoing discussion around the realities of an ASEAN power grid to enhance cross-border energy trade and connectivity. On making an ASEAN common power grid a reality, respondents showed unanimous agreement in stating that greater cross-border collaboration was required with an ASEAN-wide treaty (70%), cross-border consortiums (72%) and bilateral country agreements (71%) as top solutions. 

The cost of financing the energy transition is also a key concern with over 63% of respondents stating that green finance pipelines including subsidies from Western countries would be a key enabler, while collaboration between the public, financial and regulatory sectors, as well as government incentives to drive down energy transition costs, were cited as the topmost ways to unlock green financing. Sentiments on the economic impact of the energy transition are mixed with just over half (56%) of respondents believing that it does not have to come at the cost of economic growth.

Edwin Khew, Chairman of SEAS said, “Aside from the clarion call for governance and the development of a committed green finance pipeline of green projects, Singapore was also voted the leader in efforts to drive the region’s energy transition. We believe there is a great opportunity for Singapore to play the role of a catalyst in advancing ASEAN’s Net Zero goals”.

The survey was released ahead of the just concluded Asia Clean Energy Summit (ACES) held in Singapore from the 24th to 26th of October.


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