You’ve probably already heard that Asia is growing quickly. It’s the fastest growing region on the planet with countless opportunities across the diverse 48 nations that call it home. With fast growth comes a big appetite for Energy, and the region is on the front-foot to bring the best energy-technology to it’s citizens and industry.
Straight from the office to the airport, the EarthStream Singapore Clean Energy Team was touching down in the evening mist of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, a sprawling city that is jostling to keep up with its own pace of growth.
They say there are more motorbikes in this city than there are people, and I can believe it. Here the people travel light and mobile; 36 degree heat at 10pm, not a problem. This country is hot and fast, Vietnam’s economy expanded a sizzling 7.5% from July to September last year alone.
An invitation to attend the major Power & Electricity World conference was on the agenda, an event bringing together some of the World’s leading Renewable Energy companies. From Solar to Wind technology, Hydropower and Biomass, there was no word of coal or nuclear, Vietnam wants modern Clean Energy and there are plenty of eager investors jostling for a position in the green power generation mix.
Having just helped set-up a new office for a large regional Wind developer in Ho Chi Minh City, the first point of call was to meet the regional MD who was excitedly sharing with us the strong opportunities that present then. Off to meet a fund-group leader next, who reeled out his growth plans and need for commercial economists to help digest where and when to invest their funds. A quick bowl of local beef noodle soup, Pho, and we were hot-footing it across the conference to a round-table with 5 key solar developers sharing ideas and war stories on logistical challenges in the county.
We regularly attend these events across the South East Asia region and it’s clear that the Renewable Energy market is bullish here, partly supported by regional governments opening their doors to foreign investment. The head of the Vietnam Economics Institute was recently quoted as saying “The government has been removing constraints on businesses, so many sectors are expected to improve.” Prices for clean energy generation are rapidly falling and this is creating a wave of new construction projects and opportunities such as utilities scale commercial and industrial rooftop solar. Hybrid projects are also en-vogue, it should come as no surprise that a Hydroelectric dam now comes complete with a PV panelled escarpment, it makes for a very eye-pleasing sight.
We don’t see an end to this growth anytime soon. The interesting thing will be if offshore wind takes off in the northern countries, such as Vietnam, Japan, Taiwan. The technology is ready, the demand is there. Asia is lagging a decade behind Europe when it comes to wind and solar, there is plenty still to come.
If you want to learn more about how we have helped grow a variety of start-ups and established players in this market, feel free to reach out to the Singapore team, Nathanael Steiner is leading the charge with some very innovative solutions.