I don’t believe Ethanol, cellulosic or otherwise, will play a major role in the new energy frontier for Pakistan or the Midde East, even though it will be produced in small quantities for off-setting some dpendence on fossil fuel (two regions of special personal interest to me). Part of it is because I do not really see ethanol as a renewable fuel, and partly because large scale conversion of food crop land to cash crop land has the potential of creating a serious disbalance in the agricultural economies. (A friend reminded me recently about the devastating impact on Vietnam when World Bankers decided a few years ago to support planting of coffee crops instead of food.)
But Solar, and Wind can play a major role in the new energy industry in these parts of the world. Not only is the energy souce renewable, but also abundantly available. The remaining technological barrier is the need for an increase in conversion efficincies so the economics can start to work in their favor. There are interesting technologies in the works: from high efficiency PV panels to low cost and flexible PV modules; and from efficient wind turbine designs to technologies of wind energy storage in order to improve capacity factors. Ofcourse I must also mention technologies that are utilizing solar concentrators and chemical catalysis to split water (and natural gas in closed cycles) to create fuel (Note: this year’s Euro 1 million EU Descartes Prize was shared by a colleague and friend in Greece, Athanasios Kostandopoulos, who is working on such a solar hydrogen project – Also, Fujishima and Honda, who discovered the phenomenon of solar water splitting – photocatalytic splitting – using TiO2 particles are up there for Nobel prize nominations!).
Well, here’s a news article that highlights the role that Asia will play in the Wind energy production:
Led by India and China, Asia Pacific Emerges as Wind Power’s New Frontier
Press Release from Emerging Energy Research
Cambridge, MA, 14 December 2006
Led by wind markets in India and China, Asia Pacific is emerging as global wind power’s new frontier, with the region expected to add over 46,000 MW of wind power over the next decade, according to a recently released market study from Emerging Energy Research (EER) – a leading advisory and consulting firm tracking emerging technologies in global energy markets.
“Asia Pacific will see an exponential scaling up of its wind power sector over the next five years from the size of wind turbines installed to the dimensions of utility and Independent Power Producer (IPP) portfolios,” says EER Research Director Keith Hays.
The region’s market leaders China and India are expected to add over 36,000 MW between them by 2015. Together they will represent over 80% of the Asian wind market during the period, according to EER’s new study, Asia Pacific Wind Power Markets and Strategies 2006-2015. Japan and Australia will each add between 100 and 300 MW per year followed by less-developed markets in South Korea, New Zealand, Taiwan, Pakistan and the Philippines.
“The Asia Pacific wind power market finds itself at the threshold of a new phase of large-scale growth,” according to EER Research Director Keith Hays. Combined with North America, EER predicts the region will account for most of the global wind power industry’s growth through the next decade. “Asia Pacific will see an exponential scaling up of its wind power sector over the next five years from the size of wind turbines installed to the dimensions of utility and Independent Power Producer (IPP) portfolios,” says Hays.
New levels of political commitment, fueled by soaring energy demand, promise to drive wind markets in Asia forward. The last three years of over 50% yearly growth have illustrated that the region is steadily working towards wind energy targets totaling nearly 80 GW among nine countries through 2020, according to EER.
“While the Asia Pacific region’s leading wind power players will continue to focus on the largest markets in India and China,” says Hays “steadier opportunities are also arising both from developed markets Japan and Australia, as well as emerging markets in South Korea and New Zealand.”
Diverse Set of Players Compete for Wind Project Development in Asia
A highly varied mix of players qualify as the top 20 wind power owners in the Asia Pacific region, with installed capacity ranging from 60 MW to 200 MW , according to EER. Chinese state utilities comprise the biggest block of planned build-out of wind power projects in Asia. Other groups of players planning significant pipelines in the region include Australia and New Zealand IPPs and utilities, Japanese IPPs, and Indian industrial companies.
According to EER, the Asia Pacific region saw a turning point in 2002 as the wind power industry began a rapid transition from an experimental, village-size project market of relatively flat growth, towards an exponentially larger market of greater ambition — yearly MW began doubling and projects of 10 MW or larger have become the norm.
“The vast size of the Asia Pacific region, and its current booming demand, lends itself to the rapid emergence of new players, both local and foreign, staking large claims with government-based Power Purchase Agreements,” says Hays. As markets mature and government policies open up to greater foreign investment, it is likely that India, China, and South Korea will see the participation of international IPPs looking to lend their technical and financial capabilities to add projects to their portfolios,” according to EER.
Turbine Supply Ramping Up with Local, Global Player Expansion
The wind turbine supply market is the most highly-contested segment of the Asia Pacific wind industry, according to EER. Dozens of firms are competing through wholly-owned subsidiaries, joint ventures, and licensing agreements and both China and India are now major hosts of new turbine manufacturing facilities, according to EER.
China has been the biggest recipient of supplier investment, as its domestic growth and export potential have lured more than 3,000 MW of planned capacity investment by major players. Wind turbine manufacturers Vestas, GE, Suzlon, Gamesa, and Nordex are all setting up China production facilities to meet domestic demand and for export in the longer term, according to EER.
For turbine suppliers, competitive positioning hinges on utility and major industrial orders, says Hays. India’s scaling up towards larger IPP projects, along with China’s utility involvement, will re-focus supplier strategies from one-off contracts for smaller customers to longer term frame agreements with the larger players.
“The coming years will see the solidification of the wind industry in Asia Pacific,” says Hays, “as political will for wind is tested with the teething problems of new support systems and the challenge of upgrading aging infrastructure. Countries promoting wind energy will have to show resolve in incentivizing wind build out as part of their greater efforts to cover looming generation gaps, and add this new technology into their overall portfolio planning.”
ABOUT THE STUDY
Asia Pacific Wind Power Markets and Strategies 2006-2015 provides over 200 pages of market intelligence and competitive analysis of wind markets in Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, Pakistan, the Philippines, South Korea, and Taiwan. Key elements of the study include: country by country market forecasts and market environment rankings; key utility, developer IPP and turbine supplier competitive analysis; and top wind energy player profiles.
Follow this link for the complete table of contents, list of exhibits, and order information for EER’s new study, released in December 2006.
ABOUT EMERGING ENERGY RESEARCH
EER is a leading advisory and consulting firm tracking emerging technologies in global energy markets, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts and Barcelona, Spain. Our customers – which include many of the world’s largest corporations and technology vendors – seek our informed, objective view and advice on these fast developing markets.
For further Information
- » Asia Pacific Wind Power Markets and Strategies 2006-2015
- » Table of Contents, List of Exhibits, and Order Information