Updates from December 2019
In December, USAID Clean Power Asia, the Thai Wind Energy Association (ThaiWEA), and the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) jointly convened the Thailand Wind Energy Roundtable in Bangkok. Built on a series of discussions between ThaiWEA and various government agencies, the roundtable brought together high-level Thai energy officials and wind industry representatives to discuss the potential for a higher wind energy target in the country’s power development plan, currently under revision. USAID RDMA’s Deputy Mission Director, Jeffrey Spence, and the Thai Ministry of Energy’s Inspector General, Dr. Twarath Sutabutr, delivered opening remarks that kicked off informative presentations on the latest wind energy developments, followed by a highly interactive roundtable discussion. The event was a valuable opportunity to emphasize the importance to the U.S. government of further private sector wind development in Thailand under the Asia EDGE pillar of Increased Deployment of Advanced Energy Systems. A revision of the wind target would also provide an opportunity for U.S. companies such as GE to conduct business in the Thai wind energy market.
How we mobilize finance and investment
Although renewable energy investments offer a range of promising new business opportunities, project developers have faced formidable financial and regulatory challenges. In the Lower Mekong region in particular, renewable energy projects receive less interest than traditional capital investments and barriers exist for banks and financial institutions to effectively engage and invest in renewable energy.
USAID supports financial institutions, developers, and other relevant stakeholders to secure and reduce the cost of finance for renewable energy projects by helping to develop innovative business models; promoting standardized documentation and evaluation practices and approval processes for financing renewable energy projects; and providing other advisory services. A broad range of models, strategic adoption of cost-efficient technologies, and comprehensive policies and regulations are key to structuring bankable projects that appeal to commercial developers. Renewable energy offers control of energy costs and margins, while tools and business models under development will improve the risk/reward profile of new projects.