September 18, 2020
ADB approves $127million loan to help provide Cambodia with electricity supply

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $127.8 million loan to support the construction of transmission lines and substations to help provide Phnom Penh and three other Cambodian provinces with stable and reliable electricity supply. The project will also pilot the first utility-scale battery energy storage system in Cambodia, which will be funded by a $6.7 million grant. The amount includes $4.7 million from the Strategic Climate Fund under the Scaling Up Renewable Energy Program in Low-Income Countries and $2 million from the Clean Energy Fund under the Clean Energy Financing Partnership Facility. Both funds are administered by ADB.

September 18, 2020
Vietnam’s energy sector a magnet for foreign investors

National electricity demand is expected to increase by 8.5 percent a year until 2025 and 7 percent until 2030, making Vietnam an attractive market for foreign energy investors. The economy is expected to grow at 6.5-7.5 percent annually until 2030, and would require 90,000MW of power by 2025 and 130,000MW by 2030. At the 2020 Vietnam Energy Summit in July in Hanoi a number of deals for investment in energy projects were signed, including the memorandum of understanding by the Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners, Asiapetro and Novasia Energy with the Binh Thuan Provincial People’s Committee to develop the 3.5GW La Gan offshore wind power project at a cost of 10 billion USD. Many investors said Resolution No 55-NQ/TW for strategic orientations for national energy development through 2030 has created a favourable environment to invest in the country’s power sector.

September 18, 2020
How meaningful is the new US-Mekong partnership?

On September 11, the United States and the five lower Mekong nations launched a new framework for multilateral cooperation amid rising concerns about China’s expanding influence in mainland Southeast Asia. In announcing the new Mekong-U.S. Partnership at a meeting in Hanoi, the U.S. State Department pledged at least $153 million to Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos for a variety of collaborative projects. These include grants for hydrological data-sharing, disaster management, and efforts to fight the region’s endemic levels of crossborder crime… In a statement dated September 11, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made the U.S. aims in mainland Southeast Asia more explicit: “We stand for transparency and respect in the Mekong region, where the CCP [Chinese Communist Party] has abetted arms and narcotics trafficking and unilaterally manipulated upstream dams, exacerbating an historic drought,” he said in the statement. 

September 9, 2020
Southeast Asian banks need to reduce coal risks

As the economic crisis linked to Covid-19 grips the world, banks, insurers and asset managers have even more reasons to exit from the riskiest investments in fossil fuels – starting with thermal-coal mining and coal power plants. The shift away from excessive reliance on coal power has continued at pace, despite the pandemic, and Southeast and South Asian financial institutions risk getting left behind unless they too move towards the sustainable clean energy industries of the future. Putting aside the climate issues, the economics are increasingly compelling…The financial risks of continued investment in new coal have been demonstrated during the economic crisis this year. Research by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) has shown that more than 138 globally significant financial institutions have already exited from coal, making coal plants harder to finance and a rising stranded asset risk.

September 9, 2020
Asian climate finance gap ‘risks jeopardizing green investing’

The climate finance investment gap is limiting the integration of climate change for companies and the financial sector across Asia, jeopardizing the success of green finance globally, according to the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and Amundi, Europe's largest asset manager. This assessment comes ahead of the imminent launch of the AIIB-Amundi Climate Change Investment Framework—a first-to-market tool aimed at informing targeted sustainable and responsible financing. The AIIB-Amundi Climate Change Investment Framework launches September 9 and translates key objectives of the Paris Agreement into fundamental metrics to assess an investment's level of alignment with climate change mitigation, adaptation and low-carbon and climate resilient development objectives.

September 9, 2020
2020 Wind energy auctions database

The Global Wind Energy Council has released its quarterly update on the global wind auctions database, a key tool for the wind industry to stay updated on all the latest developments and business opportunities for markets around the world. Although the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted wind auctions globally, many countries have shown resilience in the face of the crisis and have continued driving growth of the industry. During Q2 2020, a total of 2.17 GW of wind power capacity was auctioned globally, of which 1.77 GW was in Europe and 0.4 GW in Asia-Pacific. These results are significantly lower than the 4 GW of wind farm capacity that was auctioned during the same period last year, which is primarily due to delays and postponement in some of the key matured and developing markets as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.

September 9, 2020
Asia Pacific renewables could attract US$1tn of investments this decade

Solar and wind power represent a US$1 trillion investment opportunity in Asia Pacific this decade, equivalent to two-thirds of the region’s total power generation sector, as countries move away from fossil fuel generation in favour of greener alternatives. That is according to a new Wood Mackenzie report, which reveals the share of wind and solar in the Asia Pacific power generation mix will more than double to 17% by 2030, with more than 51 markets out of 81 modelled exceeding 10% renewable energy. Gas and dispatchable power will still continue to play a “key role” in providing flexibility to power systems in the region, with fossil fuels making up a US$500 billion investment opportunity in the next ten years. Wood Mackenzie senior analyst Rishab Shrestha said coal investment will fall from its peak of US$57 billion in 2013 to US$18 billion by the end of the decade.

September 3, 2020
Vietnam sees rooftop solar boom

Over 45,000 households and organizations in the country have installed rooftop solar panels, whose prices have been falling rapidly in recent years. Le Anh Tuan, lecturer at Can Tho University in southern Can Tho City, spent VND130 million ($5,600) to install a 3.9 kWp rooftop solar power system in his home four years ago and is now enjoying the fruits of his investment. Tuan was able to save up to VND1.2 million each month compared to using normal electricity, twice the amount of monthly deposit interests. Thai Minh Bao, a representative of World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in central Thua Thien Hue Province, said his office paid VND155 million to install a 5.2 kWp rooftop solar system in 2017. The amount of money the office was able to save each month came to around VND1 million ($43). These two are among thousands of households and organizations in Vietnam that have installed rooftop solar in recent years.