The clear headline from the 35th ASEAN Ministers on Energy Meeting was that 2018 should be the year that Southeast Asian solar hits its stride, saying ASEAN calls for energy investment and that energy investors and policy officials must find new ways to meet the region’s monstrous energy needs.
Numerous projects to build large solar power facilities are underway in Vietnam, as the country scrambles to make up for the anticipated power shortage due to the recent cancellation of nuclear power plant construction projects. The five solar plants will generate an estimated 1 gigawatts, equivalent to the total power output of a nuclear reactor.
There is a new technology around the block, one that will enable a new Industrial Revolution. Buckle up, we’re going for a ride into (not-so) Star Trek technology: blockchain, a peer-to-peer network database. Think Napster, or file-sharing within a common group, but in the case of a blockchain, it comes with real-time and distributed updating. And it’s non-spoofable.
Vietnam’s demand for energy has increased at the approximate rate of 12% per year between 2006 and 2015, and whilst its current installed capacity is only 3.876 million kWh, it will need to produce 245 billion kWh by 2020. Vietnam is looking to RE sources to sustain high electricity generation without incurring higher energy production costs as its energy demands increase.
The effects of climate change have already been seen in the ASEAN region. ACE released a study on regional renewable energy cooperation in ASEAN last month in hopes that it would help strengthen discourse on renewable energy cooperation within the region as regional cooperation is imperative if ASEAN wants to achieve their renewable energy target for 2025.
Blockchain, which has been widely touted for its ability to revolutionize everything from currency and financial transactions to balancing the grid and energy trading, can eliminate the need for a centralized approach to market clearing and trusted third parties, opening the way for a transactive energy environment where balancing is constant and security inherent.
Energy has long been recognized as essential for humanity to develop and thrive. Despite recent progress, some 1.1 billion people globally still lack access to electricity, and 2.8 billion people lack access to clean cooking facilities. These severe energy deficits make it difficult or impossible for many countries to achieve a range of development objectives.
Blockchain, the bleeding-edge technology behind Bitcoin, has a role to play in the clean-energy economy, helping homeowners sell electricity, allowing businesses to trade carbon credits, and making it easier for governments to track greenhouse gas emissions.