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New Energy World magazine logo
New Energy World magazine logo
ISSN 2753-7757 (Online)

Asia-Pacific countries play catch-up with renewables


8 min read

Wind turbines in rice fields set against setting sun Photo: Adobe Stock
Big prospects for renewable energy developments in Southeast Asia – here are wind turbines generating electricity on rice field in Phon Rang, Ninh Thuan, Vietnam

Photo: Adobe Stock

Southeast Asian countries lag far behind more advanced economies when it comes to renewable energy investment on the road to net zero. A new joint report by the International Energy Agency (IEA) and Imperial College London aims to persuade investors to respond to the region’s strong resource potential. New Energy World Features Editor Brian Davis reports.

Although Southeast Asian countries such as Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore have all committed to achieving net zero emissions or carbon neutrality by 2050, renewable power investment development is lagging due to inadequate policy and investment frameworks. This is despite the region’s strong resource potential.


A new joint report (the fourth and final report) by the IEA and Imperial College London examines the opportunities and barriers for scaling up renewable energy investment in the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) region. Although various regions have boosted the role of renewable power in national energy development plans, for the most part their economic development models remain based on fossil fuels; with a high reliance on coal-fired power plants, which account for more than 40% of power generation.


Regulatory barriers and incumbent interests continue to prioritise fossil generation over renewables. Despite the falling costs of renewable technologies around the world, ‘solar and wind project costs remain elevated in Southeast Asia due to lack of deployment scale and under-development of supply chains’, notes the report.


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