Pre-Forum Event

Meeting Asia’s Energy Demand with 24/7 Renewable Energy Supply hosted by REN21

Monday, 3 June 2024

2:00 - 3:30 p.m. (GMT +8) | Multi-Function Hall 2

The global energy sector is navigating a complex macro-environment. Even as average inflation worldwide saw a decline in 2023, it remained significantly higher than levels seen in 2020, with energy prices continuing to influence the global economic landscape significantly. Investment in renewables has seen growth globally, yet the sector now faces challenges from supply chain issues and rising interest rates, leading to increased prices and testing the resolve of both consumers and governments. This comes despite the unprecedented investment and advances made in recent years. In Asia, the adoption of renewable energy increased in 2023, but the pace of uptake varies across the region. The continued reliance on a substantial proportion of fossil fuels poses a threat to these advances.

Despite these challenging market conditions and competing priorities, the deployment of solar PV technology has been at an all-time high worldwide. The international resolve towards renewable energy was further solidified by the global agreement at COP28, where 130 countries, including Bangladesh, Japan, Malaysia, South Korea, and Singapore, pledged to triple renewable energy capacity to at least 11 terawatts by 2030. However, despite these ambitious targets, many countries in Asia and elsewhere are not meeting their renewable energy goals, underscoring a significant discrepancy between policy ambitions and real-world achievements in renewable energy implementation.

Concurrently, there's an increasing recognition of the need to overhaul our energy systems for both energy security and climate considerations. Nonetheless, the transition away from fossil fuels is met with resistance, driven by concerns over the intermittency of wind and solar power potentially disrupting local and regional energy supplies. Achieving energy grids with a high share of renewable sources is feasible, but it requires understanding the necessary conditions to support such shares in both distribution and high-voltage grids, from both the perspectives of grid operators and users.

This session will build on the latest data from the just released from REN21’s Renewables 2024 Global Status Report to answer the question: “What would it take for the Asia region to meet its energy demand with 24/7 renewable energy?”

Panelists will look at one aspect of the 24/7 renewable energy system: the diverse challenges in making power grids fit for high shares of renewables. This includes looking at complex, multi-level approval systems, problems siting transmission lines, barriers to investment, need for social license, and lengthy procedures for connecting projects to the grid, i.e. onshore and offshore and the role of storage.

Panelists will consider the Asian landscape against this backdrop; looking at the specificities and challenges of the region and how to overcome them.


2:00 - 2:10 p.m.

Welcome Remarks

Kelly Hewitt, Principal Energy Specialist, Asian Development Bank

2:10 - 2:25 p.m.

Scene setting: snippets from REN21’s Renewables 2024 Global Status Report: Meeting Asia’s Energy Demand and the Global Story

Vibhushree Hamirwasia, Head – Community Development and Regional Activities, REN21

2:25 - 3:20 p.m.

Moderated Panel and Audience Discussion

Panellists will discuss the aspects of a 24/7 renewable energy system, including the challenges with integration and approval systems, barriers to investment, etc. They will approach this based on their specific experiences both regionally and sectorally and focus on what needs to happen to overcome these challenges. This will be an interactive session with steady audience participation throughout this segment. The audience will break-away to discuss key challenges and opportunities during this segment.


Moderator: Mark Lister, Co-CEO, Asia Clean Energy Partners

Anna Lobanova, Energy Connectivity Expert, UNESCAP

Liming Qiao, Head of Asia, Global Wind Energy Council

Zulpat Aziyeva, Climate Change Project office (Kazakhstan)

3:20 - 3:30 p.m.

Summary and Close


Kelly Hewitt

Kelly Hewitt

Principal Energy Specialist, Asian Development Bank

Vibhushree Hamirwasia

Vibhushree Hamirwasia

Head - Community Development & Regional Activities, REN21

Anna Lobanova

Anna Lobanova

Energy connectivity expert, UN ESCAP

Zulpat Aziyeva

Zulpat Aziyeva

Climate Change Project office (Kazakhstan)

Liming Qiao

Liming Qiao

Head of Asia, Global Wind Energy Council

Mark Lister

Mark Lister

Head of Asia,