Renewable energy in Southeast Asia has progressed in leaps and bounds. From the harnessing of biomass to the use of water in generating electricity, there is room for tremendous economic growth as well as the obvious positive of caring for an ailing environment. However, are mechanisms put in place for safely harnessing these resources?
Global wind energy capacity could increase by more than half over the next five years, as costs continue to fall and the market returns to growth at the end of this decade, a report by the Global Wind Energy Council shows. In its annual report on the status of the global wind industry, the GWEC said cumulative wind energy capacity should increase by 56 percent by the end of 2022.
Advances in energy storage technology have propelled an explosion in portable electronics and disrupted the way people live, work and communicate. It has also prompted a quiet revolution in the clean energy space. What started as the dream of lone visionaries is slowly turning into a movement of sorts, and Brisbane-based energy storage firm Redflow wants to make sure it’s well placed when energy markets switch enmasse to renewables.
Vietnam is among the most promising renewable energy markets in Southeast Asia, offering significant opportunities for investment in clean energy, especially wind and solar power. With a population touching 92 million and energy demand forecast to grow by 13 percent annually over the next four years, the country is eyeing an energy policy that includes a substantial mix of renewables. There are, however, issues hindering the sustainable development of the sector.
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.