Asia demand to fuel global solar power growth

Growing power demand in Asia is encouraging the private sector to develop more solar photovoltaic (PV) projects in the region despite a projected slowdown in operations, according to a study.

Think tank Fitch Solutions, through its unit BMI, said Asia’s project pipeline for solar PV remains the largest in capacity globally at 207.68 gigawatts (GW).

“Asia’s power consumption will be the largest growing, which reflects the growing need for more large-scale power projects,” Fitch said in its report.

“Large-scale solar PV projects, coupled with increasing energy storage systems, will serve the market’s ambitions to replace conventional thermal power plants and meet the growing electricity demand,” it added.

Another Fitch study had found that electricity consumption in the world’s largest continent was expected to represent more than half of the globe’s total in the coming years.

It had predicted Asia’s power consumption growth to average about 3.5 percent annually in the next 10 years, ballooning to 18,406 terawatt-hours (TWh) from 13,073 TWh in 2022.

Nearly 40 percent of PV capacities currently in the development stage across the world are located in Asia, with 34 new projects recorded in the past six months.

In the Philippines, the Department of Energy has so far awarded 237 solar power contracts with an aggregate installed capacity of 1.28 GW and potential capacity of 21.45 GW.

The agency recently awarded six contracts to SunAsia Energy Inc. and its partner Blueleaf Energy for the development of 610 megawatts of floating solar PV projects in Laguna Lake as the government races to meet its renewable energy goal.

Fitch further explained that Asia’s capacity to house the majority of solar PV equipment manufacturing facilities ultimately led to the large number of new projects in the populous region.

Most of these are located in mainland China, but these are also expanding to India and Southeast Asia. INQ

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