Asia Pacific Wind & Solar Markets Hot in 2010 Frost Says

Renewable energy development in the Asia Pacific region holds considerable potential for growth in 2010 as initiatives taken by governments in 2009 are likely to stimulate not only the massive adoption of green energy technologies, but also R&D investments and manufacturing capacity.

So concludes Frost & Sullivan’s Asia Pacific industry analyst of the company’s Energy & Power Systems Practice, Suchitra Sriram.

According to the company, there was an unprecedented rush to develop the renewable energy sector in the region in order to create jobs as well as to revive the ailing economies from the impact of the global economic slowdown, several countries introduced financial stimulus packages in the first half of 2009 in which a majority of the funds were targeted at the renewables industry, for example. As a result, governments have introduced policies that included mandatory renewables targets, tax credits, grants and investment incentives to accelerate the penetration of renewables by institutionalizing their use, developing national and local capabilities, as well as providing fiscal and non-fiscal incentives, including higher feed-in-tariffs.

Commenting on the developments Sriram says: “As a result of funding received through the stimulus packages, several projects across the renewable energy spectrum like wind, solar, geothermal, and biomass, are expected to be commissioned in 2010. Besides expanding investments from the private sector, major utility companies in the region are keen to diversify from their conventional fuels so as to include RE in their energy portfolio.”

She explains that in 2010, renewable energy adoption is likely to receive a big thrust from countries such as Malaysia, where introduction of feed-in-tariff in early 2010 is likely to promote grid-connected solar PV systems; South Korea – where tax incentives are to be given to companies operating in the alternative energy sector; and the Philippines with the recent passage of the ‘Renewable Energy and Biofuels Act’ to reduce energy costs.

Frost’s Sriram continues: “Countries like Japan that is offering zero-interest loans to green energy companies plan to generate 20.0% of its electricity from RE by 2020 while Australia with its new legislation passed in 2009 aims to achieve 12,500 GWh of power generation from renewables in 2010 from the existing 9500 GWh.”

Other countries where RE adoption is likely to boom include Indonesia with the government’s flagship geothermal power projects, Taiwan with the passage of the ‘Renewable Energy Development Act’ and Thailand where the National Plan for solar energy aims to increase the 36 MW installed solar PV capacity in 2008 to 550 MW by 2022.

Furthermore, Sriram adds, apart from growing investments from the private project developers, there has also been an increasing trend of utilities’ investing in such projects across the Asia Pacific region. She concludes: “In the solar power market, investors are keen to take advantage of the declining prices, glut in supply and government incentives addressing this sector. Countries that hold growth potential in 2010 include the traditional market, Japan, South Korea, Australia, Taiwan, Malaysia and Thailand while in the wind power market, there is likely to be pockets of interest and activities in countries such as Vietnam, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, Japan and Australia.”

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