Wednesday Scribbles : The Renewable Revolution of Southeast Asia

Notes from a changing world…
June 21st

“It is an exciting time to be in energy. If we can open more eyes to the moment at hand, and give a sense of the magnitude of the transformation, we will have succeeded.”

Adnan Amin, Director-General, International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)

 Solar energy can supply 23 percent of global power by 2040. Electric vehicles can capture a third of the transport market by 2035. Renewables are no longer the ‘alternative’, rather fossil fuels are increasingly becoming a ‘legacy’.
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Green Bonds are being encouraged to finance transition to a low-carbon economy and to fund projects that have environmental benefits. Annual issuance of green bonds rose from USD 3 billion in 2011 to USD 95 billion in 2016.
ADB is boosting its support to climate action in developing countries in line with their Nationally Determined Contributions and the SDGs. It approved $3.7 million in climate finance investments in 2016, marking a 42% boost from the previous year.
Southeast Asia has discreetly increased its share of coal in the overall energy mix by 7%. The region needs a clear and consistent supportive policy to jumpstart the nascent green markets, for example, enabling price reductions.
In October 2016, the ASEAN set a target of supplying 23% of its total primary energy from modern renewable sources by 2025. However, with its current policies, the region will only be able to reach a 17% share.

  The “grow now, clean up later” mantra is just not working anymore. Southeast Asia has a golden opportunity to jump over the low performing, resource-inefficient technologies and practices of other developed countries.
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Inspired by Elon Musk’s Tesla and SolarCity approach, Solar Phillipines is making solar panels available to Filipinos through leasing contracts, thereby making renewable energy more accessible in the country.
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Indonesia and Vietnam, each aims to have annual solar power capacity of at least 5 Giga Watts from 2020, up from almost nothing. To overcome initial costs, both the countries will be offering subsidies via feed-in tariffs (FIT).

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Singapore is setting up market instruments and policy tools to fund investments towards sustainability projects. The Singapore Monetary Authority has launched a green bond scheme and the City Developments Limited recently issued its first green bond.

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Regional Southeast Asian leaders are committed to clean energy as business leaders see opportunities to make money and governments see renewable energy and efficiency measures as a path to build productive economies.

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Policy makers in SE Asia are reviewing their energy mix. They are focusing on renewable energy; howeer, the region still faces major challenges in the form of insufficient utility support and grid stability, efficiency and transparency in the permitting process and other financial and policy risks.
(Disclaimer: All information quoted here is linked to the respective source articles)
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