Thailand plans to build the world’s largest floating solar farms to power Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy and to boost the country’s share of clean energy. State-run EGAT will float 16 solar farms with a combined capacity of more than 2.7 gigawatts in nine of its hydroelectric dam reservoirs by 2037.
Cheaper finance from development players would shorten the renewable transition of many countries and kickstart the local small-scale PV and storage market, according to BloombergNEF. The firm published a study this week showing concessional funding would bring cost parity forward by several years for PV and wind producers across emerging markets.
Southeast Asia is a growing region with countries here averaging growth rates of 5.1 percent. This situation has rightly prompted a rise in energy demand within the region. Between 2000 and 2016, economic growth in the region spurred a 70 percent increase in primary energy demand. To that end, governments in Southeast Asia have implemented a host of policies to ensure energy demand is met.
A 9.8MW PV project featuring rooftop and floating elements is approaching the finish line in Cambodia, breathing new life into a national PV scene still stuck in the low-double-digit MW region. Cleantech Solar is building, financing and running a dual PV installation to power a production plant in Kampot province.
As Asean chair for 2019, Thailand is expected to excel in leading the grouping to collectively address regional issues. The current chairmanship theme of "Advancing Partnership for Sustainability" carries a significant message for regional cooperation. The use of technology has become prominent in the era of Industry 4.0. To play an active role in this era, Asean should embrace these changes and start digitalising its energy sector for enhanced connectivity and increased efficiency.
With its feed-in tariff set to expire at the end of June, Vietnam is considering different levels of payment, classified across three irradiation regions and involving four solar technologies. Future payments would range from $0.0659-0.0985/kWh, with the cloudy north in line for the highest tariffs and with the government likely to revise tariffs for new projects every two years.
With Vietnam’s energy demand projected to increase by more than 10 per cent annually in the next five years and required power capacity to double, the country is moving to diversify its energy mix, including plans to generate more power from renewable sources. The rooftop solar market will be essential for Vietnam to meet its massive energy needs.
The capacity of non-hydro renewables may expand to 21% of Thailand’s total power capacity mix by 2028, according to a report, forecasting capacity growth in the renewables sector to be robust over the coming decade driven by the biomass and solar sectors as the Thai government ushers the country away from a reliance on natural gas-fired power.