Single title - Regional Programme Energy Security and Climate Change in Asia and the Pacific
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This paper presents evidence from two case studies – Singapore and Kota Kinabalu – to explore how geopolitical isolation shaped their respective energy systems from colonial times, using historical contextualization to explain the kinds of energy transitions being pursued today.
The paper examines and demonstrates
- how, in response to their respective geopolitical status as British dependent territories in Southeast Asia since the 1800s, the two cities strove to make themselves self-sufficient with strongly localised electricity generation networks, building up capacity for energy autarky.
- how political and economic integration with Malaysia since the 1960s (Kota Kinabalu 1963, Singapore 1959-1965), and independence (Singapore 1965), initiated a realignment of each city’s energy policy, as local generation capacity was questioned, markets opened to competition, regulatory frameworks changed, new consumer aspirations revealed, public participation sought, and power grids became regionalised.
- for each case how this came to be, what form energy autarky it took, and what impacts historical legacies and concerns for energy security materialised into ‘hard-wired’ insular power systems and the limitations this poses for transitions today.