Asia Renewable Energy Outlook For 2023

Trang Nguyen Senior Manager and Team Lead for of our RE Advisory Services in Asia shares her insights into the renewable energy market outlook for Asia in 2023 and how act renewable is gearing up to service the evolving market.



The start of 2023 saw our Asia team  expand to meet the increasing demand we are seeing for renewable energy advisory services to drive emission reduction for corporates. We’ve observed shifting attitudes towards renewable energy in Asia as awareness grows amongst different sectors. But business planning prioritisation and unpredictable regulatory changes continue to present challenges to corporates looking to set out on this journey.

We sat down with Trang Nguyen, Senior Manager & Team Lead for Advisory Services Asia, to get her insights into the outlook for the Asia market and find out how corporates might approach renewable energy transition in this region.

In recent years, how have you seen the general attitudes of corporates shift towards renewable energy?

Over the past five years, we’ve noticed a significant growth in the awareness of corporates in Asia on renewable energy (RE) and greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction and the many related business benefits. Particularly amongst the international or large corporates and certain sectors, such as apparel & footwear and logistics which are taking a proactive approach.

When it comes to small and medium-sized or local enterprises, a lot of work is still required to raise awareness, build capacity, and demonstrate the why, what, and how. It takes time to change mindsets and industries need to realize that they play a very big role in driving GHG reduction and changing the course of climate change impacts. This does mean Companies still have an opportunity to elevate their position in the market by pursuing low-carbon measures, as international buyers desperately need business partners that can help them achieve GHG and renewable energy targets.

In Asia, the biggest challenge we see corporates face when starting out on the renewable energy transition and GHG reduction journey is building out a business case and identifying the right priorities. Clients frequently ask us what they will gain from such investments, question whether they want to hire expert advisors or even have enough knowledge to lead the implementation and minimize risks. The role of an expert advisor is to guide clients through the process of assessing available options, making informed decisions, setting up a clear strategy and roadmap, selecting the right service providers, and negotiating fair terms, which should deliver significant benefit to the business.

How has the market shifted and what developments do you hope to see in 2023?

There are two main aspects: legal framework and focused areas. In Asia, it’s challenging to predict political will and potential changes to renewable energy regulations and policies. This uncertainty leads to multiple ups and downs whilst we wait for regulatory changes, which can have a huge impact on a corporate’s strategy and achieving their targets (in many cases set for 2030 – an increasingly tight deadline).

The changes can impact the availability of implementation pathways and – in the worst-case scenarios – reduce corporates’ confidence and ambition. We have to keep our eyes wide open and closely follow Government planning developments to help corporates prepare for different scenarios through our renewable energy transition strategy and road-mapping services.

On focused topics, generally, we are seeing increasing demand for, and focus on, scope 3 services, as well as thermal renewable energy. This is following the solid progress made on scope 1 and 2 services as well as electrical renewable energy over the past few years.

Another notable shift is the increased demand for phasing coal out of production. In response to this demand for thermal renewable energy transition, act renewable has developed a thorough Coal Phase Out (CPO) approach for Vietnam and an extensive knowledge of biomass market dynamics, which is crucial to determine the procurement strategy and select suitable combustion technology. We plan to upscale this approach to other Asian markets with similar or different fuel availabilities or CPO options.

The act renewable Asia team is now five people strong. Are there plans to expand the team further in 2023?

Yes, we will expand the team further in 2023 to ensure that we not only have sufficient delivery capacity on the ground to meet the increasing demand we are seeing in this market, but also to ensure we are equipped with the required expert knowledge across various topics in the renewable energy transition and GHG reduction journey. We strongly believe being present on the ground is crucial to delivering quality and impact.

Any final insights or advice for corporates?

From our conversations with many corporates and NGOs, we have realized that some decisions have been made without sufficient information, which have led to unwanted and costly results. Whether you’re thinking of engaging in renewable energy transition yourself or with the support of an advisor, we encourage you to share concerns and ask questions to become better informed and weigh up all risks and costs before making decisions.

Together with our sister company RESET Carbon, act renewable offers solutions for GHG accounting /inventory and target setting services, alongside our core focus of renewable energy strategy planning and implementation.

For more insights on the corporate renewable energy space across Asia, join our upcoming Asia webinar series where we will share experiences from the front line of working with corporates and brands on their renewable energy transition.

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