Renewable energy generation in Southeast Asia can generate USD 90 billion to 100 billion in sustainable revenues by 2030, according to a new report.
The report, “Renewable Energy Manufacturing: Opportunities for Southeast Asia”, was published by the Asian Development Bank and non-profit organizations Bloomberg Philanthropies, ClimateWorks Foundation and Renewable Energy For All.
According to ADB, “Growing South-east Asia’s solar PV cells, battery, and electric two-wheeler industries presents an estimated USD 90 billion to 100 billion revenue opportunity by 2030, with a potential 6 million renewable energy jobs to be created by 2050.”
Laos is committed to promoting renewable energy and investments in low-carbon industries to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. For instance, the Monsoon Wind Power Project, with a capacity of 600 MW, is set to be built in Xekong and Attapeu provinces to export electricity to neighboring Vietnam.
The report points out that Southeast Asia is a solar PV manufacturing hub with 2% to 3% of the world’s polysilicon and wafer capacity, and 9% to 10% of the world’s cells and modules capacity.
Production is concentrated in Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam. Most of the manufacturing capacity in the region was established by Chinese manufacturers.
According to the report, government-to-government collaborations can facilitate a higher build-out of solar PV capacity by connecting Southeast Asian countries with lower renewables potential to those with abundant supply.
For example, Singapore has signed agreements with four countries, including Indonesia and Malaysia, to support its target of importing up to 4 GW of low-carbon electricity by 2035.
Antha Williams, Environment Program Head of Bloomberg Philanthropies, said, “South-east Asia has the potential to become a leader in renewable energy manufacturing to contribute to global renewable energy deployment, while simultaneously achieving economic growth and mitigating the impacts of climate change.”
“The report proves how increasing private sector investments into local renewable energy manufacturing sectors, strengthening regional value chain collaboration, and bringing together key stakeholders will create jobs, increase GDP, and help South-east Asian nations meet their climate goals,” she said.
According to the report, Southeast Asia could lose up to 30% of its GDP by 2050 due to increases in global temperature and extreme weather events, but bolstering the renewable energy manufacturing capacity would position countries in the region to create new jobs and meet growing energy demand.