Renewables are primed for growth in Asia

Published onSeptember 3, 2020

Renewable-energy operators are planning for further growth in Asia despite a falloff in subsidies, betting energy demand will keep rising…Around 400 gigawatts of wind and solar capacity are likely to be added in Asia over the next five years, according to an estimate by Wood Mackenzie, an energy-research consulting firm, up slightly from the 380 gigawatts added over the past five years. Wood Mackenzie expects investment in renewable electric power in the Asia-Pacific region to outpace investment in fossil-fuel power such as coal and natural gas every year for the next five years. With much of the fossil-fuel investment going toward replacing old facilities that means the lion’s share of added capacity is likely to come from renewables. Australian bank Macquarie Group Ltd.’s renewable-energy investment unit said it was evaluating five gigawatts of new solar assets in Asia, the equivalent of roughly 15 million solar panels. The bank is also backing a group that plans to cover about 2,500 square miles in Western Australia–an area roughly half the size of Connecticut–with solar panels and wind turbines. Most of the power will be used to generate hydrogen and hydrogen derivatives that can be exported to Asian nations such as Japan to generate electricity or to fuel vehicles.