ACEF 2016, wind power in Asia

Yesterday, I attended the first of the 5-days “Asia Clean Energy Forum 2016” held at the ADB headquarters in Ortigas. Main sponsors are the ADB, USAID, Korea Energy Agency, and World Resources Institute. Plus eight other donors — DFAT-Australia, DECC-UK, MFA-Norway, MET-Spain, Canada, Japan, Sweden, and the Global CCS Institute. And dozens of partners.

I attended the deep dive technical workshop on Wind Power Development.

From a presentation by Iban Vendrell, Mott McDonald, Thailand. They have 40.5 GW of installed power capacity, wow. It’s only 16+ GW in the Philippines. But see the huge discrepancy in wind tariff vs retail tariff, peak and off-peak hours. Clear energy favoritism or cronyism.

From a presentation by Rakesh Goyal, Tetra Tech ES, India. They have 288.7 GW of installed power capacity. Good thing the price discrepancy between wind tariff and retail/wholesale tariff is zero, or minimal. But wind has various incentives that are not available to conventional energy sources.

This is a recurring claim or urban legend, that there is “convergence” or “grid parity” between RE and conventional power like coal and natural gas. Still far out, otherwise there will be no need for feed in tariff, priority dispatch to the grid, various fiscal and non-fiscal incentives and subsidies for RE.

From a presentation by Ishak Burhani Nasution of PLN, Indonesia. Coal share from 57% this year to decline to 50% by 2030. The shares of hydro, geothermal and LNG to rise.

From 2016 to 2025, they are adding 80.5 GW of new power capacity or an average of 8 GW a year. Of which 22.2 GW will be from old and new renewables, average of 2.2 GW a year.

From a presentation by DOE Assistant Secretary Marasigan, RE plans in the Philippines.

From a presentation by Mike Ellis of Deloitte Consulting, representing USAID’s Low Emission Energy Program in Vietnam. Vietnam plans a 129.5 GW power capacity by 2030, wow. Versus the PH’s target of only 23+ GW by 2030. And they are not giving special pricing favoritism to wind power, only some fiscal incentives.

Share of coal power in the energy mix to decline from 45 or 46% in 2020 to 43% by 2030.


They see various  hurdles in wind power development. Perhaps this an indirect statement of Vietnam’s government that they want to have a power capacity of dependable and reliable energy as big as possible, not from intermittent and unstable sources.

From a presentation by Angarag, Ministry of Energy of Mongolia. Wind tariff is 2x the overall retail and wholesale tariff plus fiscal incentives.

From a presentation by Ranjith Pathmasiri, SL Sustainable Energy, Sri Lanka. Wind tariff 14 cents, slightly higher than retail tariff of 10 cents.

During the open forum, I pointed out that many East Asian economies grew fast for 2-3 decades partly because of cheap electricity, so now we are moving towards expensive electricity, clear example of Thailand’s wind tariff. It should not be the case, Asia should retain its cheap energy, high and stable power supply policy. And that PH having the 2nd most expensive electricity prices in Asia next to Japan is unhealthy, now we added FIT, 4 centavos/kWh last year, 3x this year at 12.4 centavos/kWh.

ASec Marasigan replied that PH’s energy pricing is relatively market-based, no government subsidies vs many Asian policies of energy subsidies. Other speakers replied that RE is reaching grid parity with conventionals and so the price disparity should taper through time. I did not make a follow up question, there were other hands rising for the Q&A.

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