Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG 7) targets universal access to energy, an increased share of renewable energy in the global energy mix, and doubling the rate of energy efficiency improvement. While the Asia-Pacific region has made considerable progress in meeting SDG 7 targets, much more work needs to be done if the region is to achieve the 2030 Agenda.
Deployment of renewable energy and complementary technologies like energy efficiency, battery storage and, in particular, grids must increase significantly if the SDG 7 targets are to be met. However, there are many positive signs that suggest the transition to clean energy is accelerating. Renewable energy is more cost-competitive than ever, especially compared with the relatively high cost of oil, natural gas and coal, and these technologies are increasingly being recognized as contributors to energy security.
The focus of this Regional Trends Report 2022 is on one strategy that can enable a more rapid, more secure and more affordable transition to clean energy, i.e., power system connectivity. Energy connectivity supports the integration of variable renewables, and enables access to a more diverse and lower cost set of resources. This strategy is widely recognized, including by ESCAP member States, which in 2021 endorsed the “Regional Road Map on Power System Connectivity”. The vision, principles and nine strategies detailed in that document have guided the development of this report.
Accelerating progress on power system connectivity can, in turn, accelerate the energy transition. ESCAP will continue to work with stakeholders in the region and its member States to implement the Road Map strategies, and enable more secure, more efficient and more sustainable connectivity in the region. This report will provide a useful set of case studies and recommendations for enhancing policies in support of power system connectivity and the energy transition.