Financial downturn and renewable energy are biggest concerns for Asia’s electric industry
Published 2 December 2020
The need to adopt renewable energy and the uncertainty of investments caused by the COVID-19 financial downturn are the two biggest concerns for Asia’s electric industry.
The Strategic Directions: Electric Industry Asia 2021 report by Black & Veatch revealed the pressure to balance affordability and the pressure to decarbonise power generation with the integrating of reliable and resilient systems.
“We see a need for more integrated solutions across generation, transmission and distribution, as well as the expansion of gas-fired generation and energy storage to improve efficiencies and resilience,” said Narsingh Chaudhary, Black & Veatch’s Executive Vice President and Managing Director for Asia Power Business.
Gas-fired power generation is expected to continue beyond 2035, with 66% of senior energy industry leaders seeing it as a significant component of the grid, while the more environmentally damaging coal-fired power generation is expected to play a similar role by only 18% of respondents.
“The industry expects more near-term investments reprioritised to existing assets compared to new builds or even investment deferment,” said Harry Harji, the Associate Vice President for Black & Veatch’s Management Consulting Business in Asia.
Unsurprisingly, due to its lower cost of energy, the most significant investment growth in new capacity over the next three to five years is expected in renewable energy, with land and floating solar, energy storage, offshore wind and microgrids being the most popular options.
The solar market is being spurred on by improvements in bifacial solar photovoltaic technology and advanced array configurations yielding.
“COVID-19 could serve as an important inflection point that spurs greater digitisation, remote diagnostics and monitoring, and more efficient asset management practices as a whole,” added Mr. Harji.
Nevertheless, threats to reliable grid operations and performance across Asia include slow network capacity investment, underinvestment in more reliable transmission networks, introduction of too much intermittent renewable energy, insufficient energy storage capacity, and natural disasters.
To incite change and tackle these challenges, government regulations are seen as the most influential agent by 66% of respondents as we look out to an uncertain 2021.
By Simi Kaur, Tech Reporter