Renewable energy integration key to Asia's decarbonisation, energy transition -- Black & Veatch

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 13 -- The integration of renewable energy into grid systems – more than simply deploying renewable energy to replace the region’s large dependence on coal – is the biggest challenge facing Asia’s electric industry, according to findings from this year’s Black & Veatch Asia Electric Report.

“The report reveals that pressures to lower grid emissions are mounting from investors, large customers and governments as infrastructure needs continue to transform,” said Executive Vice President & Managing Director, Asia Pacific, Narsingh Chaudhary.

“The introduction of more renewable energy is changing the very nature of electric grid management and this means Asian electricity providers must plan and invest seriously across the entire system of generation, transmission and distribution assets.”

According to a statement, the need to focus investments beyond generation into transmission and distribution is underlined throughout the report. 

For example, 25 per cent of industry respondents are not confident in the performance and resilience of their transmission and distribution systems. In addition, two of the top three threats to providing reliable service to customers are cited as underinvestment in transmission and insufficient energy storage.

Other key findings highlighted in the report include the fact that only 15 per cent of respondents see a future for coal generation asset investment beyond 2035; in addition, 85 per cent believe there will be less investment in coal over the next five years.

In contrast, nearly half of respondents see a long-term future for new gas generation asset investments beyond 2035 while an additional 25 per cent think investments will be channeled to upgrading existing facilities.

Also highlighted in the report, advance system control devices is the top investment priority area to improve transmission systems; and, almost half of respondents are considering smart grid improvements in the next five years, more than any other grid hardening technique.

Black & Veatch’s high-impact reports, in a series previously known as Strategic Directions publications, provide industry insights and analysis based on market-leading research.

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