We asked three industry insiders to identify the obstacles – or potential obstacles – holding back the development of the Asian renewables sector. Listen to what they said.
Helge Rau, head of M&A, wpd
I would say there’s nothing really holding it back, but it’s a question of gaining momentum. Of course, you need to have a certain experience. As a wind developer, the first place you always need to know is where the wind resource is.
There have been bad surprises in many markets in the past so that’s the same lesson that needs to be learned in Asia as well. But there is nothing really holding back [Asian renewables].
It’s a question of how fast it can be learned on the development side but also the financing side, meaning equity investors and banks to come in, learn about the market specifics and then really go for it and make it happen.
Alex O’Cinneide, CEO, Gore Street Capital Partners
Renewables globally and in Asia depend on a well-functioning grid to deal with the intermittent nature of renewables.
So here in Asia we need to see improvements in transmission to allow the grid to be balanced to deal with the intermittent power that is renewables.
Kok Leong Toh, vice president, private infrastructure, Partners Group
Asia – unlike Europe and the US – is really separated between developed and emerging economies, so, I think a lot of capital is going towards developed economies like Japan, Taiwan and Korea. But you don’t really see that for Vietnam, for example, which, being an emerging economy, gets a bit less interest from global investors.
So, I think there is a lot of capital looking at Asia, but it is being very selective about the markets it is comfortable with and, in my view, I think [developing markets] like Vietnam and Indonesia need more capital, which is not coming into those markets.