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The Business Times:

ASEAN’S renewable capacity is expected to nearly double by 2025, driven by better regulation and lower equipment costs, with Vietnam currently leading the way, according to a HSBC Global Research report.

Six key countries in Asean – Vietnam, the Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia – added around 24 gigawatts in renewable capacity between 2016 and 2020, according to the report.

As an investment destination for renewables, Vietnam currently ranks highest, due to favourable policies (with deadlines set in the fourth quarter of 2020) rolled out by the government to attract capital. The criteria considered are entry barriers and regulatory environment. Singapore currently ranks fourth.

The report found that many countries in the region have shown a clear shift in focus, prioritising the construction and usage of renewables over fossil fuels. They have created or are creating regulation to review or increase the use of renewables, while others have already accelerated efforts.

Driven by technological advancements, energy efficiency improvements, economies of scale and supply chain integration, solar module prices in 2020 have fallen by 89 per cent compared to a decade ago, and the cost of wind turbines have also decreased by 41 per cent in 2020, compared to 2010, the report said. The cost of solar modules will drop by another 27 per cent by 2025 and the price of wind turbines is forecast to fall by another 18 per cent by 2025, powered by decreasing equipment costs and greater equipment efficiency, led by less raw material and energy consumption during production and tweaks in equipment design.

While the traditional coal and gas power are currently still more cost competitive, renewable energy is expected to be the cheapest source of power in Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines and Malaysia by 2025, with Vietnam retaining the cost leadership that it holds today.

[Elysia Tan]

More: Renewable capacity to nearly double in Asean by 2025: HSBC report

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