Residents in many of Asean's most polluted cities have been delighted to observe significant decreases in pollution levels as a result of Covid-19 lockdown measures that have disrupted the economy, and thus many pollution-causing activities...However, with all the tragedy caused by the coronavirus pandemic, perhaps there can be a silver lining in terms of how we navigate Asean's energy transition if we can embrace renewable energy (RE) and clean technologies. Covid-19 seems to be accelerating the adoption of several pre-pandemic trends like digitalisation and robotics. Perhaps decarbonisation can be another.
The rate of annual investment in distributed energy resources (DER) will increase by 75% by 2030, with the market set for a decade of high growth. Favorable regulations, declining project and technology costs, and high electricity and demand charges are key factors driving investments in DER across the globe, according to Frost & Sullivan’s recent analysis, Growth Opportunities in Distributed Energy, Forecast to 2030. According to the analysis, the COVID-19 pandemic will reduce investment levels in the short term, but the market will recover.
NGO Forum on ADB, a network of over 250 civil society organizations across Asia calls out the Asian Development Bank to end its green posturing and make real commitments towards a Paris aligned policy and appropriate clean energy investments. This demand coincides with this year’s Asia Clean Energy Forum (ACEF) 2020 which started yesterday, June 16. This year ACEF’s thematic focus is centered upon building an inclusive, resilient sustainable energy future, recovering and rebounding from the social and economic crisis of the pandemic.
Growth in renewable power has been impressive over the past five years. But too little is happening in heating, cooling and transport. Overall, global hunger for energy keeps increasing and eats up progress, according to REN21’s Renewables 2020 Global Status Report (GSR), released today. The journey towards climate disaster continues, unless we make an immediate switch to efficient and renewable energy in all sectors in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A report released by the UN Environment Programme, the Frankfurt School-UNEP Collaborating Centre, and BloombergNEF on June 10 shows biomass and waste-to-energy received $123 billion in financing for new projects between 2010 and 2019. Biofuels received $28 billion over the same period. The report, titled “Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2020,” analyzes 2019 investments trends and clean energy commitments made by countries and corporations for the next decade. It also shows that that COVID-19 crisis has slowed deal-making in renewables in recent months and will impact investment levels in 2020.
Community-owned power projects from renewable sources, known as Energy for All, will open for interested parties for co-investment by the end of this month after a months-long delay. The scheme was not launched late last year as originally scheduled because of a lengthy preparation process. The coronavirus pandemic caused further delays. But once the first phase of Energy for All is approved by the cabinet, which is expected to consider it tomorrow, private investors can apply to join the scheme. Investors can obtain letters of application from the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), which will grant them licences, said Energy Minister Sontirat Sonthijirawon.
Experts forecast that Vietnam’s wind power sector would further grow in line with the Government’s stronger regulatory support announced recently and rising investor interest, which has strengthened the project pipeline. Experts from the London-based credit intelligence provider Fitch Solutions Inc said the government has proposed several policies in recent months to boost the development of the wind sector, in particular offshore wind, which bodes well for the industry. “We note that Vietnam contains one of the highest potentials for wind power in the region, as it is endowed with high wind speeds particularly in the offshore or near-shore areas,” said the experts.
The world is entering an era where sustainability is seen as an economically prudent choice, with environmental co-benefits. As the current pandemic shows for public health, the cost of being ill-prepared and uninformed is far greater than the initial cost of investing in resilient institutions and systems. For Southeast Asia, sustainable development must rise to the top of the policy agenda. The post-pandemic response can ensure regional resilience against future shocks. Further, investments today in clean energy and resource-efficient, circular production models can unleash innovation and products that cater to the demands and needs of generations to come.