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.
GCL Technology Holdings Limited reported strong revenue for the first half of 2023, while JA Solar says it will invest CNY 2.72 billion ($578.7 million) in 5 GW of N-type solar cell capacity in Vietnam.
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.
The Vietnamese government has announced a USD 135 billion ($200 billion) energy strategy, with half of the country’s residential rooftops to be equipped with PV systems under a net-metering scheme. The nation also aims to become a power exporter by the end of the decade.
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.
GCL-SI says it will build a new 12 GW solar manufacturing facility in China’s Jiangsu province, while Growatt has opened a factory with an annual capacity of 500,000 inverters and 100,000 batteries in 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.
The Vietnamese government has been working on a scheme to allow bilateral power purchase agreements (PPAs) since 2020. The start of the pilot scheme has been delayed and is now expected for the first quarter of 2023. The official program would launch in 2025.
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.
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