USAID Clean Power Asia
Harnessing the power of renewable energy for a sustainable ASEAN
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Southeast Asia has shown an improvement in the number of women in leadership roles. The Philippines, Vietnam and Singapore are leading in having the most women holding senior management positions, based on a report by Grant Thornton, an assurance, tax and advisory firm, titled, ‘Women in Business’. However, women representation decreases as they go up the management ladder. A survey by the Credit Suisse Research Institute (CSRI) titled, ‘The CS Gender 3000 in 2019: The changing face of companies’, reveals that Singapore leads in Southeast Asia with the highest female CEO representation (15 percent), followed by Thailand (nine percent), Indonesia (nine percent) and the Philippines (eight percent). The CSRI report also found that the global average for women on boards in the energy sector is 20.6 percent.
Unlike some reforms in Thailand that face hurdles because of political power plays among authorities, changes in the energy industry have no excuse for delay. With the rapid growth of renewable energy, the phasing out of fossil fuel-based electricity generation is unavoidable. The role of state-run Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat) as the sole electricity vendor is also poised to change. Renewable energy is almost competitive with fossil fuel-based power generation, while energy storage system (ESS) technology, which helps store electricity produced by such power sources as the sun, is also making steady progress. One factor lowering the price of ESS is fast-growing demand for electrical vehicles (EVs) in many developed countries. Some nations announced zero carbon emission campaigns in the transport sector and intend to reach the goal between 2020 and 2060, a move that will cause a shift from petrol-powered cars to EVs.
Renewable energy resources will account for the majority of new U.S. electricity generating capacity in 2021, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). In a “Today in Energy” report, the agency said it expects nearly 40 GW of new utility-scale capacity to start commercial operation this year. Of that, solar power will make up the largest share, 39%, followed by wind power at 31%. Natural gas additions will account for 11%, and a new nuclear reactor at Georgia’s Vogtle site is expected to make up about 3%. Notably, battery energy storage is projected to contribute 11% of expected new capacity. The EIA said project developers and plant owners expect utility-scale solar to set a new record by adding 15.4 GW of capacity to the U.S. grid in 2021.
In 2014, the installed capacity of non-hydroelectric renewable energy in Vietnam (such as solar, wind and biomass gasification) stood at 109 megawatts (MW), about one third of one percent of the country’s total installed capacity of 34,079 MW. At the time, Vietnam’s electricity mix was dominated by hydropower (46 percent), coal (29 percent) and natural gas (22 percent). By the end of 2019, wind and solar accounted for 5,700 MW of installed capacity, about 10 percent of the total supply…What is driving this renewable energy boom? The primary mover is Vietnam’s explosive rate of growth. According to the Asian Development Bank, Vietnam’s economy has grown at 6 percent or more every year since 2014, reaching 7 percent in 2018 and 2019. This rapid growth is driving up energy consumption at an extraordinary rate.