The 6 trends shaping Southeast Asia’s clean energy sector

(Eco Business, 19 Sep 2019) Two-thirds of the global increase in demand for energy will come from Southeast Asia as it modernises, and experts say more than half of this will be met with renewable energy. Eco-Business looks at the corporate and geopolitical trends that will shape the growth of energy in the region.

Southeast Asia’s energy consumption is set to boom over the coming decades, alongside a growing population, a more energy-intensive economy and greater access to the grid. 

The International Energy Agency (IEA) foresees a two-third increase in demand and an additional 150 million energy users by 2040, representing “one-tenth of the rise in global demand, as the region’s economy triples in size”. Bloomberg’s New Energy Finance (NEF) predicts that 58 per cent of the power mix will be renewable by 2050, with photovoltaics in particular helping to bring fossil fuels down from today’s 84 per cent.

What will this mean for the regional economy, and how can Southeast Asia seize the opportunity to develop sustainably?

The clock is ticking down to Asia Clean Energy Summit 2019 (ACES), where leaders in renewables policy, research and business will soon be gathering in Singapore to discuss the challenges and opportunities on the path ahead. Ahead of the conference, Eco-Business casts an eye over some of the mega trends, technologies and innovations that will shape Southeast Asia’s energy sector.

1. Financing solar with security

Working out the environmental economics of energy infrastructure is a complex business, and in a challenging risk environment, development banks or green funds have been doing the heavy lifting when it comes to investing in infrastructure projects—as much as USD$6 billion from 2009-16.

But corporate power purchasing agreements (PPAs), spurred by companies’ renewables targets,  have been emerging as a key driver of solar infrastructure around the world.

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Eco Business, 19 Sep 2019: The 6 trends shaping Southeast Asia’s clean energy sector