Renewable energy investment in Asia is set to edge ahead of oil and gas exploration by next year, according to international fossil analysts at Rystad Energy.
“Total capital expenditure in renewables will rise above US$30 billion in the region by 2020, just overtaking investment into exploration and production for oil and natural gas,” Reuters reports, with India, Australia, Japan, Vietnam, Taiwan, and South Korea taking their place as leading destinations for investment. The analysis excludes China, the world’s biggest investor in renewables and one of its biggest in “upstream” oil and gas.
“These countries each have strong pipelines for renewable energy developments of all types, including offshore wind,” said Rystad Head of Global Renewables Gero Farruggio. “And importantly, most have large targets outlining the inclusion of renewable power sources within their respective energy mixes, with corresponding support policies.”
Rystad expects to see major fossil companies taking their place as significant renewable energy investors, even though they currently own only 1% of the region’s solar, wind, and utility-scale solar projects, PV Magazine reports. “Upstream companies will lead the charge, building sizable utility storage, solar and—ultimately—offshore wind portfolios,” Farruggio said.
He cited Malaysian state fossil Petronas and colossal fossil Royal Dutch Shell as two companies that have recently moved into India’s renewable energy market. In Australia, still hobbled by a climate-denying national government, “the [project] pipeline is already taking shape across the country,” PV Magazine writes. “Total Eren has started construction of Victoria’s biggest solar project, the 256.5-MW Kiamal solar farm, and is looking to add a second stage with a generation capacity of up to 194 MW. On top of that, the renewables developer—which is 23% owned by French oil and gas giant Total—is exploring commercial options for an approved 380 MWh of energy storage.”