News

August 14, 2020
How to drive fossil fuels out of the US economy, quickly

In the runup to World War II, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt enlisted the entire US economy in an effort to scale up production of war material…By the time the war was won, the economy was up and humming with a massively expanded workforce (drawing in women and African Americans) and turbocharged productive capacity. Investments made during the war mobilization yielded a robust middle class and decades of sustained, broadly shared prosperity. A similar mobilization will be necessary for the US to decarbonize its economy fast enough to avert the worst of climate change. To do its part in limiting global temperature rise to between 1.5° and 2° Celsius, the US must reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 at the latest. To achieve this, the full resources of the US economy must be bent toward manufacturing the needed clean-energy technology and infrastructure.

August 14, 2020
Regulatory reform key to post-pandemic green energy investment, IEA says

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has urged the government to boost Indonesia’s use of renewable energy and to increase its electrification capacity through pro-investment regulatory reform as the country pursues economic recovery. In a recent report, the IEA argued that certain key regulatory reforms would open access to private renewable energy investment and would improve the financial standing of state-owned electricity distribution firm PLN. The IEA, a Paris-based organization, said President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo should issue a Presidential Regulation on green energy pricing to enable more privately owned renewable energy companies to enter the domestic market.

August 14, 2020
Vietnam’s solar industry: Bright prospects for investors

In June 2020, Sharp Energy Solutions Corporation (SESJ) completed a mega solar power plant in Ninh Thuan province, which is expected to generate 76,373 megawatt hour (MWh) per year. The plant is the newest addition to SESJ’s five other existing solar power plants in Vietnam…For years, Vietnam like many other developing countries relied on coal as the cheapest and easiest option to meet energy needs. However, technological progress and growing environmental concerns have made renewable energies more attractive. In 2017, solar energy played almost no part in Vietnam’s energy strategy. By the end of 2019, Vietnam surpassed Malaysia and Thailand to reach the largest installed capacity of solar panels in Southeast Asia.

August 14, 2020
Renewable energy is now the least-cost option in the power sector

Switching to renewable power is a no-brainer. Progress is slow in the two larger sectors, heating/cooling and transport. Governments continue to subsidise fossil fuels and keep regulatory frameworks in place, which support centralised, high-carbon energy production and consumption. Renewable energy had another record-breaking year in 2019, as installed power capacity grew more than 200 gigawatts (GW). This was the biggest increase ever. Capacity installations and investment continued to spread to all corners of the world. Distributed renewable energy systems provided more households in developing and emerging countries with access to electricity…Globally, 32 countries had at least 10 GW of renewable power capacity in 2019, up from only 19 countries a decade earlier.

August 6, 2020
The future of electric vehicles in ASEAN

Southeast Asia is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world filled with historical sites and beautiful beaches across the region. Nevertheless, Southeast Asian cities are also known for their congested roads filled with honking cars and motorcycles. Congested roads have become synonymous with Southeast Asia, and that is not going to change anytime soon…EVs, including hybrid electric cars can drastically reduce carbon emissions released into the environment. Compared to conventional cars that release unhealthy amounts of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxides and nitrogen oxides into the atmosphere, battery-electric cars effectively produce zero-emissions from their tailpipes. According to a 2018 study commissioned by Nissan and carried out by business consulting firm, Frost & Sullivan, it was revealed that a third of Southeast Asian consumers are open to buying an electric car.

August 6, 2020
Investors look beyond government bonds to renewables

In today’s challenging market environment investment portfolios have to be highly resilient, something that low-interest-rate government bonds can no longer provide. One alternative asset class that can provide this resiliency and diversification is renewable energy infrastructure. Despite the pandemic's market disruptions, investment companies have been increasingly focusing on putting money into renewable energy infrastructure…Renewable energy infrastructure involves a variety of activities, including wind and solar farms; hydroelectric, geothermal and biomass power-generating facilities; and wave and tidal technology. In Asia, investing in renewable energy infrastructure is catching on.

August 6, 2020
Building energy efficiency to employ ASEAN people

The world has been struggling with the COVID-19 outbreak which has already damaged the global economy, and ASEAN is not an exception. The magnitude of the economic impact is hard to predict and depends largely on the effectiveness of pandemic containment efforts…The immediate problem is to restore the economy by bringing jobs back as quickly as possible. Governments will need to consider stimulus packages that could create long-lasting and positive impacts on a wide range of issues. Energy efficient (EE) buildings can address two of the biggest concerns: energy savings and jobs. Fostering energy efficiency through retrofitting existing buildings will generate local jobs quickly while decreasing the costs of running buildings. This will assist households as well as businesses to recover more quickly from the crisis.

August 6, 2020
US and Mekong Region: Cooperation for sustainable and inclusive economic growth

In recent years, relations with Southeast Asia have emerged as an important pillar of US engagement with the Indo-Pacific region. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is central to US foreign policy in the region, with a growing focus on the five countries bound together by the Mekong River—Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam. As they emerge from a tumultuous history, these countries must confront new elements of great-power competition even as their youthful populations push for economic growth and integration into the wider region and the world...Over the past two decades, the US government has allocated more than $2 billion in development assistance to bilateral and regional initiatives in the Mekong region.

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