News

September 9, 2020
Southeast Asian banks need to reduce coal risks

As the economic crisis linked to Covid-19 grips the world, banks, insurers and asset managers have even more reasons to exit from the riskiest investments in fossil fuels – starting with thermal-coal mining and coal power plants. The shift away from excessive reliance on coal power has continued at pace, despite the pandemic, and Southeast and South Asian financial institutions risk getting left behind unless they too move towards the sustainable clean energy industries of the future. Putting aside the climate issues, the economics are increasingly compelling…The financial risks of continued investment in new coal have been demonstrated during the economic crisis this year. Research by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) has shown that more than 138 globally significant financial institutions have already exited from coal, making coal plants harder to finance and a rising stranded asset risk.

September 9, 2020
Asian climate finance gap ‘risks jeopardizing green investing’

The climate finance investment gap is limiting the integration of climate change for companies and the financial sector across Asia, jeopardizing the success of green finance globally, according to the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and Amundi, Europe's largest asset manager. This assessment comes ahead of the imminent launch of the AIIB-Amundi Climate Change Investment Framework—a first-to-market tool aimed at informing targeted sustainable and responsible financing. The AIIB-Amundi Climate Change Investment Framework launches September 9 and translates key objectives of the Paris Agreement into fundamental metrics to assess an investment's level of alignment with climate change mitigation, adaptation and low-carbon and climate resilient development objectives.

September 9, 2020
2020 Wind energy auctions database

The Global Wind Energy Council has released its quarterly update on the global wind auctions database, a key tool for the wind industry to stay updated on all the latest developments and business opportunities for markets around the world. Although the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted wind auctions globally, many countries have shown resilience in the face of the crisis and have continued driving growth of the industry. During Q2 2020, a total of 2.17 GW of wind power capacity was auctioned globally, of which 1.77 GW was in Europe and 0.4 GW in Asia-Pacific. These results are significantly lower than the 4 GW of wind farm capacity that was auctioned during the same period last year, which is primarily due to delays and postponement in some of the key matured and developing markets as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.

September 9, 2020
Asia Pacific renewables could attract US$1tn of investments this decade

Solar and wind power represent a US$1 trillion investment opportunity in Asia Pacific this decade, equivalent to two-thirds of the region’s total power generation sector, as countries move away from fossil fuel generation in favour of greener alternatives. That is according to a new Wood Mackenzie report, which reveals the share of wind and solar in the Asia Pacific power generation mix will more than double to 17% by 2030, with more than 51 markets out of 81 modelled exceeding 10% renewable energy. Gas and dispatchable power will still continue to play a “key role” in providing flexibility to power systems in the region, with fossil fuels making up a US$500 billion investment opportunity in the next ten years. Wood Mackenzie senior analyst Rishab Shrestha said coal investment will fall from its peak of US$57 billion in 2013 to US$18 billion by the end of the decade.

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.

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