Strong growth in Asia’s non-hydropower renewable sector will help meet rising power demands but coal still major player

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on email
Asian countries are increasingly turning to solar and wind for power consumption over hydropower. Image: Spark.

Major capacity additions in Asia’s non-hydropower renewables sector will facilitate the region’s ability to supply electricity amid rising power consumption needs, which look set to outpace all other regions as economies continue to expand after the easing of COVID-19 restrictions, according to a Fitch Solutions’ report.

The research firm found that the continent was pivoting toward renewables such as solar and wind for power generation over the use of hydropower and coal that has typically dominated Asian markets, although coal will still play a significant part in the region’s energy mix for years to come.   

“This surge in net capacity additions of non-hydropower renewables will be able to facilitate a robust growth in electricity generation,” said Fitch Solutions, adding that this played into its forecast that non-hydropower renewables’ share of the generation mix will increase by about 7.3%, from 13.3% at end-2021 to 20.6% in 2031.

“This increase in non-hydropower renewables generation will be about 2,060TWh at an annual average growth of 8.4% from 2022 to 2031,” said the report.

The report pointed to a number of examples of Asian countries prioritising non-hydro renewables, such as markets in the Mekong region expanding into solar and wind over hydropower, Thailand investing heavily in floating solar projects – which are on the rise globally –  and Vietnam offering strong state support for renewables development.

Source: Fitch Solutions.

The growth in non-hydro renewables is expected to supply Asia’s growing power needs, with the continent projected to make up more than half of global power demand. “We estimate Asia’s share of global power consumption to be 50.7% and will increase to 55.0% by 2031,” said Fitch Solutions. “This corresponds to an increase of 4,501TWh at an annual average growth of 3.1% from 2022 to 2031.”

Nonetheless, Asia will continue to rely on its well-established coal power sector on top of its growing non-hydropower renewables sector to supply power to its economies as they increase activity following the pandemic-induced slowdown.

Coal-fired power generation remains Asia’s dominant power type, estimated at 56% of the region’s generation mix as of end-2021, according to Fitch Solutions. “This is largely due to the region’s well-developed coal sector, with major power markets like China and India that will still require years to wane their heavy dependence on coal.”

In other Asian news from Fitch Solutions, the Philippines looks set to significantly ramp up its solar deployment in line with a rapidly-expanding project pipeline and growing regulatory support.

4 October 2022
Solar & Storage Finance USA, the only event that connects developers to capital and capital to solar and storage projects, will be back in November 2022.

Read Next

PV Tech Premium
May 19, 2022
PV Tech speaks to Qcells CEO Justin Lee about the manufacturer's recent solar manufacturing capacity expansion, its use of TOPCon as a 'stepping stone' to future cell technologies and its new clean energy strategy.
May 18, 2022
JA Solar has today unveiled its new n-type module (Bycium+ cell), the DeepBlue 4.0 X, whilst committing to a 15GW manufacturing capacity of the product by next year.
May 18, 2022
LONGi Solar is planning to develop a 20GW module assembly facility in Wuhu City, Anhui Province after signing a cooperation agreement with local authorities.
May 16, 2022
The world added record amounts of renewable energy last year with 295GW of capacity deployed, up 6% year-on-year, despite supply chain constraints, project delays and high commodity prices, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA), which also expects nearly 320GW to be deployed this year.  
May 16, 2022
Chinese solar manufacturer Risen Energy has started production at its 120μm heterojunction (HJT) solar cell production line in Changzhou City, China.
May 13, 2022
Welcome back to PV Tech's live coverage of the third and final day of Intersolar Europe 2022. This story will be updated throughout the day, so be sure to refresh for the latest news, product launches and insight from the exhibition

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events
June 14, 2022
Napa, USA
Solar Media Events
October 4, 2022
New York, USA