The Asian Development Bank will invest THB5 billion (US$155 million) in Thai firm B.Grimm Power's maiden 5-year and 7-year green bonds – the first certified climate bonds to be issued in Thailand – in order to finance renewable energy projects in the Southeast Asian country.
The coming years could be a watershed moment for renewable energy in the Asean region. Although South-East Asia is considered a laggard in terms of RE deployment, the region is, arguably, where the most significant potential for sustainably-sourced energy lie. The conditions for the development of RE here, particularly solar energy, could not be better.
The investment rush in solar energy could end up testing Vietnam’s weak power infrastructure, experts say. They say that both transmission capacity and the ability of grids to absorb the energy produced by new projects are suspect, as of now. The 9.35 U.S. cents per kWh FIT for solar power in Vietnam has sparked an investment rush.
While coal will continue to dominate the fuel mix across most of the Asia Pacific region, a steady shift toward renewables, particularly in developed economies, is set to create competitive pressures for some coal-based power projects. The share of renewables is rising, and will be boosted further by falling technology costs and greater availability of cheaper finance for renewables issuers.
The US power grid is, by some estimates, the largest machine in the world, a continent-spanning wonder of the modern age. And despite its occasional well-publicized failures, it is remarkably reliable, delivering energy to almost every American, almost every second of every day. Still, the grid is stressed out and the need for local resilience in the face of climate chaos is growing all the time.
Although all 10 members of ASEAN, the region’s intergovernmental association, have submitted national pledges on climate action and agreed on grandiose action plans, they currently lie at the bottom of the global league table for renewable energy deployment – and current trends suggest that it will take considerable efforts to reroute this course.
Licences have been given to 12 of 16 planned wind power projects. Of the 16 approved wind power projects for Vietnam’s central province Ninh Thuan, 12 have already received licences, marking a combined capacity of over 748MW and capital of $978m, a report by Vietnam Energy Online said.
Power-hungry Vietnam, one of Asia’s fastest-growing economies and a production hub for global companies such as Samsung Electronics, needs to raise up to $150 billion by 2030 to develop its energy sector, according to a World Bank official. Vietnam has been struggling to develop its energy industry due to a lack of state funds.