Southeast Asia Needs $3T in Green Investments: Asia News Roundup

Huge investment opportunities: Countries in Southeast Asia need US$3 trillion in green investments over the next 13 years to protect residents from the effects of climate change, according to a new study. That represents an increase in green spending of 400% each year. Green investments in Southeast Asia currently total $40 billion a year, versus an average annual need of $200 billion to $300 billion. Investments are needed in infrastructure ($1.8 trillion), renewable energy ($400 billion), energy efficiency ($400 billion), and food, agriculture and land use ($400 billion), the report estimates. Indonesia needs the most investment, while Vietnam and Thailand also represent great opportunities for green financiers, according to the report.

PPAs Set to Soar in Asia: Power purchase agreements, or PPAs, are about to see a boom in popularity across Southeast Asia, experts say. Panelists at a recent conference in Bangkok said corporate use of PPAs will grow to represent 30% of the market in the next three to five years. The growth will powered by factors that including more and more companies pledging to get all of their power from renewable sources

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Clean energy investments in Singapore: Six clean energy companies have announced significant investments in Singapore, worth hundreds of millions of dollars in combined expenditures. The investments were announced at the Asia Clean Energy Summit conference late last month. The companies are:

– U.S.-based wind turbine maker Hover Energy, Chinese solar company GCL New Energy and smart meter manufacturer Jiangsu Linyang, each of which will set up its regional headquarters in Singapore.

– China’s Envision Energy, which will build a “global digital energy hub” in Singapore.

– VDE Renewables of Germany, which will spend $20 million to build an energy storage testing and certification lab.

Narada, a Chinese battery supplier, which will establish a regional energy storage solution “centre of excellence” in Singapore.

Renewables Face Financial Challenges: Improvements to regulations and, especially, the bankability of renewable energy projects are crucial if Asia is to take full advantage of green energy’s potential. That was the sobering message from speakers at the Asia Clean Energy Summit in Singapore last month. Only about 45% of the total renewable energy projects in Asia are ‘bankable,’ one expert estimated, referring to a project’s financial viability and whether a bank will support it. The other 55% of projects on the market today are considered ‘unbankable’ without government support or some other mechanism. The industry and governments need to find a way to change this if the industry is to really take off, experts say.

Tesla battery in Australia: Tesla has made good on its promise to build the “world’s biggest battery.” The company in late November began testing the 129 megawatt-hour lithium ion battery system — comprising Tesla Powerpack batteries — that it installed at a wind farm in South Australia, says Reuters. Tesla CEO Elon Musk had promised to install the battery within 100 days or it would be free. The company met the deadline for the battery, which is intended to provide grid stability to the region.

Multi-billion-dollar deal for renewable energy: U.S.-based infrastructure fund Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) says it will buy the renewable energy portfolio of Equis Energy for $3.7 billion. Equis, based in Singapore, is considered the largest independent renewable energy producer across Asia-Pacific and has more than 180 assets, from Japan to Australia to India. GIP says the deal represents the “largest renewable energy generation acquisition in history.”

New green bonds: Manulife Financial Corp. floated green bonds worth 500 million Singaporean dollars (US$372 million) in mid-November. The 12-year notes have a 3% coupon and mark the first time a life insurance company has issued green bonds, according to a statement from Toronto-based Manulife. The company will use the funds for a range of green and sustainable projects, it says.




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