JEJU ISLAND, South Korea: Annual power capacity from wind is expected to more than double by 2025 in the Asia Pacific region as more developing countries, including the Philippines, are making use of the power resource.
Dr. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, President of the Assembly and Chair of the Council of Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), noted that most of this growth would take place in Japan, Australia and India.
“The challenge is how to make renewable energy sources spread out more evenly across regions and within regions,” he said during the Asian Regional Policy Dialogue.
The dialogue was one of the major events at the Global Green Growth Week 2016, which was organized by the GGGI from Sept. 5 to 9 here.
Yudhoyono said the world was seeing greater production of renewables, noting there were more new plants for renewable electricity capacity than new plants for fossil fuels.
“There are structural factors that will sustain this trend. If we keep this up, there is likelihood that by 2030, new capacity from renewables will be 400 percent more than fossil fuels,” he said.
Yudhoyono attributed the trend to the significant decline of the costs of renewables.
“New innovations have sprung up and they have become more accessible to more business, including in the developing countries. As a result, almost across the board, the costs of renewables have dropped — solar, hydro, wind, biomass. The most significant drop is perhaps solar,” he said.
Yudhoyono also highlighted the growing investments in renewables which are in line with the rising trend of sustainable investing.
In 2015, investments globally for renewables reached almost $200 billion, and investments in renewable energy in developing countries were greater than those in developed countries, he added.
Moreover, Yudhoyono said more jobs are being produced by emerging renewing industries. Globally, about eight million people are now employed in renewable energy sector.
“Indeed, worldwide trends suggest that we are on the right track toward greener energy,” he said.
“We are looking at a bright future in renewables. We are seeing more production, more variety, more innovation, more competitiveness, more investment, more cooperation, more market and cheaper costs,” Yudhoyono said.
In order to sustain or accelerate the shift to renewables, Yudhoyono underscored the need to adopt policies to boost renewable energy.
“Policies to promote renewable energy must come from the top leadership, because in many instances, the shift will need sensitive adjustments — bureaucratic, budgetary, economic — that will require political cover,” he said.
Yudhoyono likewise pushed for the public-private partnership (PPP) model which he considered the “right business model” to attract abundant private capital.
He added that countries also need to implement policies that can stimulate more research and development (R&D) in renewables.
Citing an estimate, Yudhoyono said R&D spending on oil and gas production by the top 2,000 companies was about $15 billion, while R&D for “alternative energy” received only $1 billion.