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.
During a recent family vacation in Vietnam, I learned that the country is a microcosm for several major trends in energy consumption in the developing world: (1) there’s a thriving middle class, (2) hot and humid weather is driving air conditioning demand and (3) rural electrification rates are very high. Vietnam has seen extraordinary growth in per capita energy consumption over the past several decades.
IRENA: Renewables can account for up to two-thirds of total energy use, and 85% of power generation by 2050
In the latest edition of its long-term renewable energy outlook, the International Renewable Energy Agency calls for at least six-fold deployment of renewables by 2050, compared to the levels set out in current plans. Investment in low-carbon technologies needs to increase by around 30% to $120 trillion to enable the energy transition and avoid escalating stranded assets, the report finds.
Driven by decades of aggressive government policy, renewable electricity generation has grown rapidly. This expansion has contributed to lower costs and renewable power that is no longer prohibitively expensive. As the primary obstacles to a renewable energy transition is no longer cost, the old approach of subsidizing renewable generation until it can compete with fossil fuels no longer makes sense.
Blockchain has been in the news a lot lately. Much of the noise is a result of the soaring valuation of the digital currencies it supports. However, digital currencies are just one application for blockchain technology. The energy industry is a relative latecomer to the blockchain space and only a small fraction of all blockchain projects are energy-focused. However, activity is picking up quickly.
Vietnam has a major opportunity to stop relying on foreign coal and build our own modern renewable energy system which does not pollute our air, our waterways, and our agricultural land. We should make sure we do not miss this chance, as Vietnam is privileged regarding its unexplored potential for diverse renewable energy sources.
Thai energy companies are on a roll. The national oil and gas champion, a coal miner and power utility, and upstart solar and wind companies are expanding across Southeast Asia, applying practices and technology developed at home, with Thailand is reaping the benefits of two decades of government energy policies that have supported the sector.
Energy and non-energy firms are planning investments of more than Bt130 billion in renewable energy this year, both at home and abroad, confident of strong growth in global demand for alternative energy, part of companies’ efforts to drive sustainable business growth.