A mixed picture for global clean energy investment in 2018 is emerging, with dollar investment in solar under pressure while commitments to wind power and energy smart technologies such as electric vehicles and batteries are running above last year’s levels. The latest authoritative figures from research company BNEF show world investment in clean energy in the first six months of 2018 down 1% from the same period in 2017.
The renewable energy revolution is on an explosive growth path from China to India to Latin America, but it appears to have not yet properly reached ASEAN, a regional grouping of 10 countries with a combined population of 640 million people.
Can the increasing penetration of wind power be handled without threatening the stability of the power system? Experts stress that recent power challenges in Asia are proving that it is time to put these energy assets to good use, especially as the cost of wind power continues to plummet.
Thai agro-industrial and food conglomerate Charoen Pokphand Foods has signed an agreement with local clean energy firm Gunkul Engineering to install a 40MW rooftop solar project at CPF’s manufacturing plants for self-consumption. The solar rooftop project is expected to be the largest collective solar rooftop project to date in Thailand.
The revised national power development plan, a new draft of which is to be published by September, is set to add energy blockchain technology to the master plan to allow very small power producers to serve as peer-to-peer electricity traders.
Thailand has installed nearly 3 GW of solar power capacity, more than all other countries of the ten-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, combined. Moreover, the country looks to potentially triple its solar power capacity as it looks to renewables to help meet an expected surge in energy demand.
One of the main goals of the ASEAN Plan of Action for Energy Cooperation 2016-2025 is ensuring that citizens have access to electricity. Over the past two decades, ASEAN countries have improved in leaps and bounds with regards to providing electricity for all their citizens, but Cambodia has one of the lowest electrification rates, at just 60 percent, with only 62 percent of villages and 53 percent of households having access to grid quality electricity.
Vietnam is far away from realizing its short and medium term wind power goals, with no ready solution in sight to several impediments, experts say. They said at a recent conference on wind energy development in Vietnam that high interest rates, low selling prices and inadequate power purchase agreements from the investors’ point of view were major stumbling blocks to realizing set targets.