On Wednesday 9 March, Glennmont Partners from Nuveen held a webinar on APAC Solar PV and Offshore Wind Investment Opportunities. The event was chaired by Glennmont CEO, Joost Bergsma, and its speakers were Gilles Pascual, Partner at EY, and Joseph Jacobelli, Founder of Asia Clean Energy Investment Co. and author of Asia’s Energy Revolution. They set out in detail the state of the renewables market in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region, and the corresponding opportunities for investment.
Glennmont CEO, Joost Bergsma began by pointing out how the APAC renewables market is leading the way globally in building wind turbines and solar panels, and that this has made it increasingly attractive both to Glennmont and the wider renewables investment community.
Next, attendees heard from Gilles Pascual, Partner at EY with a specialism in Asian markets. Gilles set out four key trends. First, that Asian markets are still growing, particularly as they move away from coal and gas, a transition that has been accelerated by COP26 and concerns over energy security. He also pointed to the relative costs of renewables falling to a point where they’re no longer more expensive than gas, the fact that ESG targets mean corporations are pushing governments to introduce green regulations, and attractive risk-return prospects.
As proof of this, Gilles highlighted plummeting renewables prices in Malaysia, Taiwan and Japan. He also noted that in much of South-East Asia, solar and wind are now cheaper than gas and coal, a trend that is only set to continue.
He ended with a four-step regional investment strategy. This included being aware of and managing a multi-country strategy and all the associated currencies, credit profiles and regulations; having a strong exit strategy; optimising corporate structure to manage tax, HR and foreign ownership restrictions; and the ability to manage project development risks.
Joseph Jacobelli, Founder of Asia Clean Energy Investment Co. and author of Asia’s Energy Revolution, followed by setting out the complexity of the energy transition in the Asia-Pacific region, with challenges coming from the spheres of politics, economics, geography, sociology, demography and technology.
He said that despite this, the renewable energy market has become increasingly liberalised in the region in recent years. This due to a huge rise in energy consumption wedded to a growing understanding that fossil fuels are no longer tenable in the long-term, and increasing financial and digital capabilities.
In terms of the most influential movers, China was pinpointed as the region’s clean technology leader, in large part due to it being the largest energy market in the world. Gas and coal are expected to make up a decreasing amount of China’s energy make-up by 2050, with solar, wind and possibly nuclear replacing them. Corporations were also posited as playing a large role in the APAC energy transition, particularly China Power Development, Korea Electric Power Corp., Aboitiz Energy and AGL Energy.