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The sunny side of Asia

November 10, 2022
Norman Waite and Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA) and EMBER
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Key Findings

The contribution of solar generation in seven key Asian countries – China, India, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, the Philippines and Thailand – avoided potential fossil fuel costs of approximately US$34 billion from January to June 2022. This is equal to 9% of total fossil fuel costs these countries incurred over the same period in 2022.

A decade ago, while European countries dominated the top of the global solar capacity ranking, only two countries in Asia made it to the list. Since then, India, Vietnam and South Korea have joined the top ten.

Solar power is expected to experience exponential growth at an average annual growth rate of 22% until 2030 across five key Asian economies (China, India, the Philippines, Japan and Indonesia).

Executive Summary

This study explores the growth of solar power in seven key Asian countries, the potential for future growth and the avoided fossil fuel costs due to solar electricity generation between January and June 2022. The report was jointly developed by Ember, CREA and IEEFA.

It combines electricity generation analysis, energy generation cost estimates and in-depth policy assessments across China, India, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, the Philippines and Thailand. Avoided fossil fuel costs for each country were estimated using actual power generation data from January to June 2022 from Ember’s Data Explorer.

The report also estimates the potential cost of additional fossil fuel abatement if solar generation is expanded in line with each country’s solar power goals contained in their respective 2030 National Action Plans. Finally, this analysis outlines the key policy challenges and opportunities for expanding solar power across the region, using a country-by-country policy assessment.

Norman Waite

Norman Waite is a former IEEFA energy finance analyst.

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Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA)

CREA is an independent research organisation focused on revealing the trends, causes, and health impacts, as well as the solutions to air pollution.

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EMBER is an independent energy think tank that uses data-driven insights to shift the world from coal to clean electricity.

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