Working together for sustainable energy in the ASEAN region

Project description

Programme title: ASEAN-German energy programme (AGEP)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Countries: ASEAN states
Lead executing agency: ASEAN Centre for Energy (ACE)
Overall term: 2016 to 2019


With a population of around 622 million, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) forms an economic region that collectively achieved a gross domestic product of 2.6 billion US dollars in 2014. On average, the region’s economy is growing by more than five per cent each year. This strong economic dynamism coupled with industrialisation is fuelling increased demand for energy.

Circumstances in each of the member states vary, subject to such factors as the availability of resources, the extent to which existing potentials are used, the natural conditions affecting the use of renewable energy sources, and the underlying policy and legal framework. It is estimated that by 2035 the rising per capita income across the region will prompt annual increases in overall energy consumption exceeding seven per cent in the trade sector and five per cent in industry.

According to figures from the ASEAN Centre for Energy (ACE), energy consumption and demand differ from country to country. Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia alone account for 70 per cent of the member states’ total energy consumption. The specific energy consumption of these countries is around ten times higher than that of Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar combined.

The ASEAN Plan for Action for Energy Cooperation (APAEC) 2016–2025, which is the guiding policy document for multilateral cooperation in this field, seeks to achieve a secure, easily accessible, affordable and sustainable supply of energy. It targets an increase in the share of renewables in total primary energy consumption, bringing it up to 23 per cent by 2025. With respect to energy efficiency and energy savings, the member states have undertaken to reduce their energy intensity by 20 per cent by 2020 and 30 per cent by 2025, compared to the 2005 level.

To achieve these objectives, ASEAN has set out to harmonise the member states’ energy efficiency standards and labelling requirements. It will also introduce more criteria for energy efficiency and energy saving into construction regulations, and step up renewable energy research and development. In addition to conferring the ASEAN Green Building Awards, it intends to create greater awareness, above all in the private sector, of the need for, and the advantages of ecological construction methods, and to promote such methods. Moreover, it is collating existing policies and drawing up a reference document for energy efficiency in buildings and in industry.


The ASEAN member states are successfully implementing their regional strategy for a sustainable energy supply.


The ASEAN-German Energy Programme (AGEP) supports the member states in improving the regional coordination of efforts to promote renewable energy and energy efficiency. The ACE and GIZ are implementing the programme jointly, on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The strategy and implementation of the programme are based on the regional action plan, APAEC 2016–2025.

The programme is active in three areas:

  1. Preparing recommendations for action. Support is provided for regionally coordinated measures to promote renewables, energy efficiency and energy savings. To this end, the programme is working at regional level to develop technical and strategic recommendations for action and is presenting these in relevant committees.
  2. Improving the regional exchange of expertise. The programme facilitates the sharing of lessons learned and possible approaches designed to enhance the use of renewable energy sources and improve energy efficiency.
  3. Strengthening the ASEAN Centre for Energy (ACE). This organisation is to become a knowledge hub and think-tank for the region. The programme also supports ACE in its capacity as the secretariat for ASEAN's cooperation on energy.

The existing focus groups continue to act as an instrument of regional cooperation, enabling representatives of civil society and the private sector to participate in regional decision-making processes.

The programme provides training for stakeholders from various sectors in the ASEAN region, for example on the use of financing mechanisms for renewable energy and energy efficiency, and on grid integration.

Additional information