Sustainable Business

Asia Pacific renewable investments to double to $1.3 trillion by 2030 - Woodmac

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Wind turbines and solar panels are seen at a wind and solar energy storage and transmission power station from State Grid Corporation of China, in Zhangjiakou of Hebei province, China, March 18, 2016. REUTERS/Jason Lee/Files

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  • Solar, wind power investments to dwarf fossil fuel power spend
  • APAC power sector carbon emissions to peak in 2025
  • But "inertia" in coal to prevent power sector meeting 2050 carbon-free target

SINGAPORE, June 22 (Reuters) - Asia Pacific investments in renewable energy generation by 2030 may double to $1.3 trillion from the previous decade, dwarfing fossil fuel power expenditures that are expected to drop by about 25% to $54 billion annually, according to Wood Mackenzie.

"Asia Pacific power generation investments are leading the world and expected to hit $2.4 trillion in the current decade, with renewables accounting for over half...of power investments," the consultancy's research director Alex Whitworth said

China, Japan, India, South Korea and Taiwan are among the top contributors to renewable investments, which include solar and wind, in Asia Pacific with an average of about 140 gigawatts of additional capacities annually, Woodmac said in a note on Tuesday.

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By contrast, Woodmac said renewable investments in Australia - Asia Pacific's leader in the energy transition - will drop by 60% in the next five years, but pick up again to average $7 billion a year in 2030s.

"The country is closing ageing coal-fired plants and facing reliability and cost challenges at least 10 years earlier than other Asian countries," said Woodmac senior analyst Le Xu.

Coal is expected to make up 55% of Asia Pacific's fossil fuel investments until 2030, before shrinking to 30% in the 2030s as gas dominates, said Whitworth.

The region's carbon emissions from power sector is likely to peak at 7.3 billion tonnes by 2025, equivalent to 1.8 tonnes per person or less than half the level of most developed countries.

While the region's power sector carbon emissions are expected to drop by 47% from their 2025 peak, "inertia in the coal power fleet will prevent Asia Pacific from reaching carbon-free power by 2050," said Whitworth.

New technologies such as carbon capture and storage and green fuels including hydrogen, ammonia and biomass into coal and gas generation will be key in reducing power sector emissions, said Whitworth.

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Reporting by Roslan Khasawneh; Editing by Rashmi Aich

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