USAID Clean Power Asia
Harnessing the power of renewable energy for a sustainable ASEAN
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Renewable energy in Southeast Asia has progressed in leaps and bounds. From the harnessing of biomass to the use of water in generating electricity, there is room for tremendous economic growth as well as the obvious positive of caring for an ailing environment. However, are mechanisms put in place for safely harnessing these resources?
Multiple trends are driving the transformation of global energy systems. Technologies are evolving at exponential rates, but policy, planning, and investment decisions continue to evolve in a linear fashion. Disruption is inevitable, but can the transformation be managed?
Despite the popular conception of China’s coal-fueled economy and smog-ridden cities, nowhere else can match the Middle Kingdom for renewable energy potential. China invested more than $44 billion in clean energy projects in 2017, up from $32 billion in 2016, while the Philippines ranks 21st out of 40 countries in the study and Thailand, a Southeast Asian economy striving to prioritise solar power, ranks 30th.
The evolving outlook for project finance, as well as the gradual maturation of technologies, such as blockchain, present new challenges and opportunities for renewables. Uncertainty in the sector continues to drive a relentless focus on cost to soften the impact of protectionism, subsidy cuts and rising interest rates throughout the world.