With Asia facing more severe impacts of global warming than any other region, many governments announced clean energy ambitions and slow but consistent move towards renewable energy. The shift requires significant investments and may hit big industries, but it is necessary.
A recent Clean Power Additions Ranking by IHS Markit applaud the efforts taken by advanced nations such as Australia and Japan, and emerging markets led by Vietnam, to develop clean power projects through offshore wind projects, aggressive renewable policies and decreasing reliance on hydroelectricity.
Scoring 89 in the Renewable Additions Index, Australia leads the region in terms of share in its upcoming projects. Overall, 87% of all power projects currently under construction in the country are wind and solar. If hydro and other renewables are included, the figure can go up to 90%.
Japan ranks second with a score of 54, thanks to the large pipeline of offshore wind projects in pre-construction phases and significant solar capacity being developed and built.
Having unleashed its technical and commercial potential for solar, onshore and offshore wind power, Vietnam has taken the third spot, above South Korea, Sri Lanka, the Philippines and Singapore.
Vietnam’s dramatic shift to renewable energy was driven by the increase of energy consumption, which has come at extraordinary rates, and the fact that it’s one of the five countries under the greatest threat from climate change. With an expanding economy and growing population, Vietnam knew it needs to keep up with demands.
While hydropower and coal-fired plants still hold the largest shares among all energy sources in the country, the government has made huge steps forward in developing solar and wind energy projects. The country is, in fact, aiming to double the use of renewable energy and further slashing carbon emissions 15% within the decade, as it moves farther from its unsustainable reliance on coal and hydropower. By 2030, Vietnam is seen to source 15 to 20% of its power supply from solar, wind and other alternative energy.
By taking clean energy seriously and cutting emissions, Vietnam hopes to lessen or at least slow down the impending effects of climate change.
Current major investors in the country’s solar and wind energy projects include German SEAN Power, Nippon Sheet Glass, Gulf Energy Development, GE Renewable Energy and Phu Cuong Group.
As Vietnam’s renewable energy sector grows and picks up the pace, many experts believe it will continue to lead Southeast Asia to a more sustainable future.
“Our ranking shows that income level is not the sole determinant in a country’s willingness to pursue clean energy and than renewable energy is no longer a ‘rich nation’ luxury as its ost continues to decline,” writes Xizhou Zhou, vice president in the Climate & Sustainability Group at IHS Markit.
In its inaugural release, the CPAR provides a snapshot of the power project pipeline in the region. The report also noted that while many medium- to long-term goals have been discussed in different countries, actual development of these projects will determine a country’s full commitment to sustainability.