The PV industry in Southeast Asia has come a long way since guest author Ragna Schmidt-Haupt, partner at Everoze, reported on solar financing innovation in the region more than a decade ago. In this article, she outlines five factors for success, the newest of which has the potential to become a game changer, and not only in Southeast Asia.
A group of researchers from the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory assessed the potential for floating PV (FPV) plants at reservoirs and natural waterbodies in 10 Southeast Asian countries. It found that the overall FPV technical potential for the region ranges from 477 GW to 1,046 GW.
New PV capacity additions in Southeast Asia are expected to bounce back this year for the first time since 2020, according to the Asian Photovoltaic Industry Association. The market is expected to grow by 13% in 2023, for 3.8 GW of new installations.
In recent years, global renewables developer BayWa re has been turning its attention to the Asia Pacific, expanding into Southeast Asia. Junrhey Castro, the company’s director of solar distribution in Southeast Asia, sat down with pv magazine Australia to discuss its experiences in the emerging markets of the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, and Vietnam.
While near neighbours, the electricity generation of the countries of Southeast Asia couldn’t be further apart. Indonesia burns locally mined coal, Malaysia has reserves of oil and gas, while populous Singapore, Vietnam, and the Philippines, depend on fossil fuel imports. They could all benefit from increased solar imports, but higher grid capacities and interconnection are key for an opportunity to unlock the power of the sun.
Indonesia will have to get to work installing more than 24 GW of solar this year – and every year – if the region is to achieve the 2.1 TW to 2.4 TW of photovoltaics the International Renewable Energy Agency has estimated it will require to achieve a net zero carbon energy system by 2050.
Singapore’s Energy Market Authority has already attracted proposals for 1.2 GW of renewable electricity, to be generated in four southeast Asian nations, and wants to raise that figure to 4 GW by 2035.
After a decade of under-delivering on its potential, there are changes afoot in Southeast Asia’s renewable energy development, says Assaad W. Razzouk, the CEO of Singapore-based developer Gurin Energy. Razzouk points to success stories in the region and notes that political will and clear regulations for developers are needed.
One of Southeast Asia’s biggest generators of renewable electricity, Thailand’s CK Power, is set to double in size over the next three years after announcing plans to add 2.8GW of new renewable electricity generation, including a ten-fold increase in its solar capacity.
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