Japan has launched a $10 billion fund to promote clean energy in Southeast Asia, amid growing signs that the world’s third-largest economy is shifting away from the investments in coal-fired power generation still heavily promoted by its key strategic rival for regional influence – China.
The Asia Energy Transition Initiative (AETI), launched by Japan’s Ministry of Environment, Trade and Industry in late May, aims to enable more innovation and investments in energy efficiency, renewables, and alternatives to coal-fired power plants.
“There has been a seismic shift in Japanese energy policy,” said Tim Buckley, an Australia-based energy finance analyst at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. “ASEAN is a perfect market to benefit,” he said, referring to the 10-country Association of Southeast Asian Nations. “It has one of the highest economic and energy demand growth outlooks in the world.”