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.
Global wind energy capacity could increase by more than half over the next five years, as costs continue to fall and the market returns to growth at the end of this decade, a report by the Global Wind Energy Council shows. In its annual report on the status of the global wind industry, the GWEC said cumulative wind energy capacity should increase by 56 percent by the end of 2022.
Advances in energy storage technology have propelled an explosion in portable electronics and disrupted the way people live, work and communicate. It has also prompted a quiet revolution in the clean energy space. What started as the dream of lone visionaries is slowly turning into a movement of sorts, and Brisbane-based energy storage firm Redflow wants to make sure it’s well placed when energy markets switch enmasse to renewables.
Vietnam is among the most promising renewable energy markets in Southeast Asia, offering significant opportunities for investment in clean energy, especially wind and solar power. With a population touching 92 million and energy demand forecast to grow by 13 percent annually over the next four years, the country is eyeing an energy policy that includes a substantial mix of renewables. There are, however, issues hindering the sustainable development of the sector.
Blockchain: From disruption to new business models? Blockchain has the potential to change the business world as we know it today. Entire value chains can be shortened by it – including in the energy industry. In the field of renewables this shift can lead to new business models from peer to peer trading to flexibility schemes or investment incentives.