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Avoiding a powerless future: How will the ASEAN region secure the energy it needs?

The Accenture point of view examines the ASEAN energy system and provides recommendations on how to make it more affordable, secure and sustainable.


Is our current energy system on the brink of collapse? Despite the billions of dollars invested in the industry, energy today is less affordable, less secure and less sustainable than ever. And the future does not look promising.

The ASEAN region faces a series of energy-related ‘choke points’ on growth, including soaring energy demands, difficulties in supplying energy sustainably and a growing reliance on energy imports. A business-as-usual approach will trigger a potentially crippling trilemma: energy prices will continue to rise, energy security will diminish and carbon emissions will increase. As a consequence, growth will slow and businesses will suffer. How will ASEAN create an energy system for the 21st century?

Accenture Energy Transition Avoiding A Powerless Future

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Read more about the Energy Transition – Avoiding a Powerless Future research study.

Fuelling Growth in ASEAN: The Drive for Affordable, Secure and Sustainable Energy
Learn how ASEAN countries can create an energy system for the 21st century. A must read for policy makers and energy leaders who want a say in this critically important topic.

Business-as-usual is not an option. What are the critical applications that will boost energy performance and economic development in ASEAN?

During the past decade, the member states of ASEAN have worked through the economic turbulence of the late 1990s, and they have emerged stronger than ever. Located in the backyards of India and China, and close to Asia’s two other economic heavyweights, Japan and South Korea, the region is well positioned to continue its growth story.

Energy will be central to the region’s continued dramatic economic expansion. In fact, the region’s energy demand is expanding even more rapidly than its economic might.

A business-as-usual scenario will increase the complexity of the region’s energy trilemma:

  1. Prices will rise
  2. Emissions will increase
  3. Security will diminish

Averting this course will be of fundamental importance to ensuring that ASEAN carves out a sustainable growth path.

In response, this paper outlines how ASEAN can create an energy system for the 21st century.

Watch this video to hear Arthur Hanna, Accenture’s Energy Industry Global Managing Director, talk about Fuelling ASEAN Growth on CNBC live from Singapore International Energy Week.


During the past two years, Accenture has worked with the World Economic Forum to better understand the changes underway in the global energy system, and how changes can be managed to enable an effective transition.

Our work has underlined the complexity of the transition. There is no single way forward; rather, each country must work with its own resources and constraints, making difficult choices and trade-offs. While individual nations have taken significant steps forward, progress at the global level has been slow, and mistakes and miscalculations have been made along the way.

Evidence suggests the global energy system is not on track to meet the needs of a growing population within planetary boundaries, and that during the past decade, we have created an energy system that is less affordable, less secure and less sustainable. In sum, the global energy system is not fit for this purpose.

In response, during the course of 2013 and 2014, we will be building on the work of the New Energy Architecture initiative to define the urgent steps that must be taken to create an energy system for the 21st century. This paper on the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) marks the first in a series exploring the topic.


This paper outlines how ASEAN can create an energy system for the 21st century. We start with an analysis of the region’s existing energy system, in order to identify choke points impeding current performance.

Our solution then focuses on a set of critical applications that can be deployed to boost performance and facilitate the creation of an affordable, secure and sustainable energy system.

ASEAN is a region with incredible potential, with resources and capabilities that are the envy of most. However, significant energy system choke points persist. ASEAN cannot, and should not, consider a business-as-usual approach to energy system development.

Instead the region should proactively tackle its energy trilemma by developing the critical applications that will support the development of a truly 21st century energy system—an ASEAN way to energy system development that will benefit generations to come.