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.

July 30, 2020
With the right measures, Southeast Asia could see a post-pandemic EV revolution

The Covid-19 crisis has caused a global economic slowdown, wiped value off stock markets and led to job layoffs. With mobility restrictions urgently imposed to limit the transmission of the coronavirus, events cancelled, consumers’ spending power affected and the public having to adopt new routines and behaviour amid the pandemic, the automotive and transportation industry is facing tough times. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), global passenger vehicle sales were down by 15 per cent in the first quarter of 2020. On the supply side, industrial closure and supply chain disruption affected production lines. Post-pandemic, vehicle manufacturers are looking at a long recovery period.

July 30, 2020
Energy chief orders fast tracking of renewable energy program

Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi has ordered faster implementation of the National Renewable Energy Program 2020-2040 to achieve its target of 20,000 megawatts of renewable energy in 20 years. “There is a need to fast track the NREP to help the country achieve the goals set forth in the Renewable Energy Act of 2008,” Cusi said in a statement on Tuesday. The program contains the policy framework under the Republic Act 9513, or the Renewable Energy Act of 2008. The official also said that it is already late to update the NREP 2011-2030 given developments in the past years. The department said based on its accomplishment report for 2020, NREP 2020-2040 presents a “paradigm shift” by renewable energy systems.

July 30, 2020
Vietnam considers scrapping half of coal power plant pipeline in favour of gas and renewables

The coming decade could see Vietnam shelve nearly half of its currently planned coal power plant capacity as alternative sources of energy take up growing shares in its power mix, the government-affiliated research body tasked with drawing up the nation’s next power sector roadmap has said. Speaking at an internal consultation earlier this month, the Vietnam Energy Institute revealed the eighth Power Development Plan (PDP8), set to take effect early next year, would stipulate a rapid expansion of renewables and natural gas in the country, suggesting the government could cancel seven planned coal projects and postpone six others until after 2030 or 2035.

July 30, 2020
Linking solar with energy storage and EV technologies

Solar is booming globally and as costs come down and the technology approaches grid-parity, historically based government incentive models and subsidies are changing –particularly for the distributed generation (DG) rooftop market. But new technologies and capabilities of other distributed energy resources (DERs), such as battery energy storage systems, electric vehicles (EVs), and other smart energy technologies, are stepping into position for a net-zero energy future – providing opportunity to advance beyond the power structures of the past…The industry agrees that with lowered costs and dwindling state incentives for solar PV, energy digitization is paving the way forward.

July 23, 2020
On women’s role in powering the green transition

The world needs to shift from the current fossil-fuel-based energy system to carbon neutrality. Most obviously, this will require countries to roll out renewable energy and integrate it into the electricity grid, boost energy efficiency, upgrade infrastructure and refine the governance of electricity and energy markets. Less apparent, success will require that women are able to contribute to the transition on an equal footing with men. Energy transitions will differ depending on countries’ development priorities, the proportion of the population with access to power grids, the current energy mix and projected demand. Some transitions may involve simply retrofitting old, unsustainable assets in order to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, while others may be part of a multifaceted development strategy for societal transformation, including gender equality and inclusion.