The construction of a combined more-than $400 million power transmission line connecting Cambodia to Laos and the Thai border will start next year, according to an official from the Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME). The government through the Council of Ministers approved a 500 kilovolt transmission line investment project from Phnom Penh to the Cambodia-Laos border and 500 kilovolt transmission line from Battambang to the Cambodian-Thai border. Victor Jona, MME’s director-general of the energy department, said that the government has invited SchneiTec Co Ltd to invest in these two projects after offering the company a technical study and environmental assessment. He said the transmission line connecting to the Laos border will be 300 kilometres (km) in length and the one from Battambang province to the Thai border will be about 110 km.
The Philippines is no longer accepting new applications for greenfield coal power plants, under the latest policy announced by Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi. Cusi said the moratorium on endorsements is based on the latest assessment by the Department of Energy (DOE) which highlighted the need to shift to a "more flexible power supply mix" that would help build a more sustainable power system in the country. "While we have initially embraced a technology-neutral policy, our periodic assessment of our country's energy requirements is paving the way for innovative adaptations in our policy direction," Cusi said in a recorded speech at the 2nd Global Ministerial Conference on System Integration of Renewables on Tuesday, October 27. In September 2019, Cusi had blocked proposals to ban coal unless the Philippines meets its need for energy security.
The world’s best solar power schemes now offer the “cheapest…electricity in history” with the technology cheaper than coal and gas in most major countries. That is according to the International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook 2020. The 464-page outlook, published today by the IEA, also outlines the “extraordinarily turbulent” impact of coronavirus and the “highly uncertain” future of global energy use over the next two decades. Reflecting this uncertainty, this year’s version of the highly influential annual outlook offers four “pathways” to 2040, all of which see a major rise in renewables. The IEA’s main scenario has 43% more solar output by 2040 than it expected in 2018, partly due to detailed new analysis showing that solar power is 20-50% cheaper than thought.
The Western Australian government has granted state environmental approvals to the massive first stage of the Asian Renewable Energy Hub, which proposes to build up to 15,000MW of new wind and solar power in the state’s Pilbara region and has expanded its long-term plans to an extraordinary 26,000MW. It is a major step toward the project becoming a reality, with the McGowan government giving the project environmental clearance for the first 15,000MW stage of the project, to be built across 6,500 square kilometres in the Pilbara region, as the developers seek to capitalise on an emerging market for Australian renewable energy exports, including green hydrogen. The Asian Renewable Energy Hub is being developed through a consortium that includes wind turbine manufacturer Vestas, project developer CWP Energy Asia, green hydrogen developer InterContinental Energy and investors Pathway Investments.
For the past two decades, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has achieved remarkable progress in the energy sector in terms of the acceleration of rural electrification access, rapid provision of large-scale national grid systems, successful mobilisation of indigenous resources, gradual adoption of new technologies and sharing of renewables into the energy mix. This was said by Han Phoumin, Senior Energy Economist at the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA). He said the region is also beginning to see cross-country electricity entry trade bilaterally and power exchanges that will promote the future market of multilateral trade. However, he added, the future energy landscape of ASEAN will rely on today’s actions, policies and investment to change the current dominant fossil fuel-based system towards a cleaner energy system.
Vietnam has been making great strides in projecting itself as an effective ASEAN leader, particularly with its proactive governance in handling the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change policy, and for its political stability, the ASEAN Post reported. In its article published last weekend, the ASEAN Post highlighted the leading role of Vietnam as the current Chair of ASEAN, saying the country has been actively involved with the association since 1995 when it joined the bloc with the aim of bringing all Southeast Asian countries together to promote regional peace, freedom, and prosperity. It highlighted that Vietnam is the only Southeast Asian country that has achieved climate action, according to the Sustainable Development Report 2020. Vietnam is powering ahead of the rest of Southeast Asia as it pushes for greater reliance on renewable energy.
Driven by increased investor interest and a growing project pipeline, utility-scale floating solar installations are set to take off globally over the next few years, a report from Fitch Solutions says. The consultancy estimates that nearly 10GW of new floating solar capacity will be installed in the next five years, with Asian markets such as China, South Korea, India, Thailand and Vietnam expected to outperform. While floating PV has been available for more than a decade, the report notes that a lack of knowledge and standards, in areas such as environmental impacts and regulations, have made projects relatively high risk. The technology is said to have remained under utilised, with less than 3GW installed globally by year-end 2019 – less than 1% of installed solar capacity around the world.
There’s a groundswell of utilities across the U.S. pursuing decarbonization targets. Seventeen large investor-owned utilities have now pledged to reach 100% clean electricity or net-zero emissions, on timelines of 30, 20, and even just 15 years from now. While this clean energy transformation is essential in the fight against climate change, it also represents an unprecedented challenge to the energy industry. Utilities are fundamentally shifting their business models, changing the nature of energy generation, storage, and delivery, and they’re on a deadline. Simply put, we’re embarking on what Deloitte recently called “an energy transition like no other.” To be successful in the shift to a clean energy future, utility leaders need to be resourceful, taking an all-hands-on-deck approach and using every tool in their toolbox to its fullest extent in order to reach these ambitious targets.