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Analysts Foresee Big Boom in Asia’s Renewable Energy Generating Capacity

Analysts are predicting a massive renewable energy boom across the Asia Pacific region over the next decade, with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) anticipating a 250% increase in renewables’ share of power generation between 2014 and 2025 and Wood Mackenzie forecasting more than 170 gigawatts of new renewables capacity each year through 2030.

Latest data in April had global renewables capacity increasing by 179 GW in 2019 and 176 GW in 2018.

But now, WoodMac “believes the region’s power generation sector could attract investments worth US$1.5 trillion through to 2030,” with two-thirds of the total going to renewables, Windpower Monthly reports, in one of a series of posts republished by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA). “While Wood Mackenzie believe wind and solar [photovoltaics] will be cost-competitive with coal by 2030, this is already the case in many other markets.”

The analysts see wind and solar more than doubling their share of the regional electricity market, to 17%, by 2030. “Traditionally, energy security and availability of low-cost coal are key drivers of coal investment in Asia,” said WoodMac senior analyst Rishab Shrestha. “However, investment sentiment towards coal is waning as economies strive for a more sustainable and greener future.”

ASEAN, meanwhile, sees renewables supplying 23% of its member countries’ electricity by 2025, a target that would call for a two-and-a-half-fold increase in market share from 2014, The ASEAN Post writes. The story cites the “rapidly declining cost of renewable energy generation via such methods as wind and solar photovoltaic” as a “golden opportunity” for the region to meet its “immense electricity demand”, cost-effectively and sustainably.

“The accelerated adoption of renewable energy offers broad environmental, economic, and social benefits, including creating jobs, reducing air pollution, and tackling climate change,” said Adnan Z. Amin, director-general emeritus of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). “Policy-makers and other development actors should prioritize investment in clean, reliable, and affordable energy as a pillar of development across the region.”

The ASEAN Post cites Malaysia as the world’s third-largest producer of solar cells, while Thailand’s investment in solar manufacturing has been rising. And in the last year alone, Vietnam’s solar generation has “surged 2.94 times year-on-year,” states VNExpress, with renewables accounting for 4.4% of electricity supply in the first eight months of the year. Coal, by contrast, still stood at 54.2%.