September 2, 2020 Read More →

Despite declining subsidies, analysts expect Asia-Pacific renewable investment to continue climbing

Bangkok Post/The Wall Street Journal:

Renewable energy operators are planning for further growth in Asia despite a falloff in subsidies, betting energy demand will keep rising.

In China, government support has driven a rapid build-up and turned the country into the world’s largest producer of renewable energy. That stimulus is drying up, putting the industry at risk. Solar-energy subsidies were halved this year, while offshore wind subsidies will end in 2020, to be followed by onshore next year.

Nonetheless, French utility Electricité de France SA said it expected growth in the post-subsidy era, predicting that offshore wind capacity in China would rise to more than 50 gigawatts by 2030 from 6.8 gigawatts today.

EDF in June closed a more than $1 billion deal with state-controlled China Energy Investment Corp. to add capacity to a wind farm off the coast of Jiangsu province. The two companies will jointly operate that portion of the wind farm, as well as an existing portion of it, making EDF the first foreign entity to take a stake in China’s offshore wind market.

Wood Mackenzie expects investment in renewable electric power in the Asia-Pacific region to outpace investment in fossil-fuel power such as coal and natural gas every year for the next five years. With much of the fossil-fuel investment going toward replacing old facilities, that means the lion’s share of added capacity is likely to come from renewables.

Today, Asia accounts for nearly half of global renewable-energy capacity, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency. That is up from less than one-third a decade ago. Relative to its size, Asia still lags the West with renewables accounting for less than 5% of energy consumption last year. That compares with 10% in Europe, where hundreds of billions of dollars of the European Union’s economic-rescue package are being earmarked for funding projects related to climate change, and 6% in the U.S., according to the BP Statistical Review of World Energy.

[River Davis]

More: Renewables are primed for growth in Asia

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