News

September 3, 2020
Vietnam sees rooftop solar boom

Over 45,000 households and organizations in the country have installed rooftop solar panels, whose prices have been falling rapidly in recent years. Le Anh Tuan, lecturer at Can Tho University in southern Can Tho City, spent VND130 million ($5,600) to install a 3.9 kWp rooftop solar power system in his home four years ago and is now enjoying the fruits of his investment. Tuan was able to save up to VND1.2 million each month compared to using normal electricity, twice the amount of monthly deposit interests. Thai Minh Bao, a representative of World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in central Thua Thien Hue Province, said his office paid VND155 million to install a 5.2 kWp rooftop solar system in 2017. The amount of money the office was able to save each month came to around VND1 million ($43). These two are among thousands of households and organizations in Vietnam that have installed rooftop solar in recent years.

September 3, 2020
Renewables are primed for growth in Asia

Renewable-energy operators are planning for further growth in Asia despite a falloff in subsidies, betting energy demand will keep rising…Around 400 gigawatts of wind and solar capacity are likely to be added in Asia over the next five years, according to an estimate by Wood Mackenzie, an energy-research consulting firm, up slightly from the 380 gigawatts added over the past five years. Wood Mackenzie expects investment in renewable electric power in the Asia-Pacific region to outpace investment in fossil-fuel power such as coal and natural gas every year for the next five years. With much of the fossil-fuel investment going toward replacing old facilities that means the lion's share of added capacity is likely to come from renewables. Australian bank Macquarie Group Ltd.'s renewable-energy investment unit said it was evaluating five gigawatts of new solar assets in Asia, the equivalent of roughly 15 million solar panels.

September 3, 2020
Only 10% of utilities prioritising renewables

Only 10% of global electric utilities are prioritising clean power investment over expansion of fossil-fuel powered generation, according to a new study published in the Nature Energy journal. The research, carried out by Oxford University's Galina Alova, quantifies the energy transition from fossil fuels to renewables of 3311 utilities around the world between 2001 and 2018. It found that more than three-quarters of the utilities assessed did not expand clean power portfolios over the period, while a further 10% favoured growth in natural gas generation over coal or renewables. But even among the companies prioritising renewables, 60% continued to expand their fossil-fuel portfolios compared to 15% reducing it, the study found. “These findings point to electricity system inertia and the utility-driven risk of carbon lock-in and asset stranding,” it said.

September 3, 2020
Report: $3.4 trillion to be invested globally in renewable energy by 2030

According to a new report, an estimated $3.4 trillion will be invested in renewable energy during the next decade, including $2.72 trillion in wind and solar. By 2030, 54.1% of installed capacity will be renewable (including hydropower), and 37.9% will be a combination of solar and wind. Frost & Sullivan’s recent analysis, “Growth Opportunities from Decarbonization in the Global Power Market, 2019-2030,” says the 2020s will be crucial for all the participants in the power industry as the transition toward renewable energy is expected to increase, while coal takes a downturn in most developed markets. Falling costs and renewable-friendly energy policies adopted by several countries in the six major geographies are prominent reasons why solar photovoltaic (PV) and wind capacity additions are expected to soar this decade.

August 27, 2020
Sustainability in ASEAN, a growing imperative

ASEAN was established in 1967 to advance regional cooperation, particularly economic, security and social. Its member countries have a combined population of 650 million and GDP of more than $2.5 trillion. Its immense population, comparative advantages and geographical location have led to the bloc being one of the quickest-growing markets globally. Interdependent Southeast Asia is increasingly threatened by environmental degradation and climate change, which would have an immense financial cost and decrease the standard of living in the region...ASEAN member countries have begun sustainable development projects: Indonesia is producing environment-friendly vehicles while Vietnam and Myanmar are building huge solar power plants.

August 27, 2020
Will Asean end up going greener after Covid-19?

Green recovery. Social protection. Smart containment. Decarbonisation. Putting progress in climate action at par with measuring GDP. Creative capacity. These phrases have been running through conversations these days around changing Southeast Asia's template for development in the post-Covid era. While answer to when, and if, the post-Covid era will come remains uncertain, it is clear that sustainability is back in centre stage -- no longer as the hip slogan of the 90s -- but as a survival need. In many a webinar, experts say health security and the ability to respond to pandemics have become the new competitive advantage. In a high-level dialogue on Asean's post-Covid-19 recovery at end-July, the discussion focused on a more sustainable society, rather than just the economy.

August 27, 2020
Wider wind-solar complementarity would mean less need for storage

A deeper wind and solar power complementarity could drive much wider renewable energy deployment than developing power projects which concentrate on either renewable energy source in isolation. That was one of the key findings of the Exploiting wind-solar resource complementarity to reduce energy storage need study by the Lappeenranta University of Technology, in Finland. The report – written by professor of solar economy Christian Breyer and his team and published in Aims Energy – stated the wider renewables adoption which could result from an increased complementarity of the two sources might reduce the current need for big advances in energy storage technology that would be required to integrate clean energy into grids.

August 27, 2020
Renewable energy challenges in Southeast Asia

ASEAN has set an ambitious target of securing 23 percent of its primary energy from renewable sources by 2025 as energy demand in the region is expected to grow by 50 percent. According to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), this objective entails a “two-and-a-half-fold increase in the modern renewable energy share compared to 2014.” With the rapidly declining cost of renewable energy generation via such methods as wind and solar photovoltaic (PV), the Southeast Asian region has been presented with a golden opportunity to meet its immense electricity demand in a cost-effective and sustainable manner. A Southeast Asia Energy Outlook report states that through this, local manufacturing industries will also be able to grow.

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