Asia-Pacific Renewable Energy Policy Handbook

Driven by strong growth in countries like China, India, Japan and Australia, the renewable energy sector in Asia Pacific is expected to grow rapidly in coming years. The continued support of the national governments to the clean energy projects even in this downturn promises a strong growth of the industry in future.

The wind power will account for the largest part of the renewable energy development in the region. China, India, Japan and Australia will together add approximately 57,400 MW of additional wind capacity during 2008-15. This represents a 47.4% increase over the total world wind power capacity in 2008. China and India are expected to be the major drivers of this growth.

Apart from wind energy, other renewable energy technologies like solar, geothermal, small hydro and biomass are also expected to increase their share in the overall renewable energy market of Asia–Pacific.

Government policy structure and promotional measures for renewables are expected to play a vital role in the renewable energy development especially with the global economic downturn and lower crude oil prices causing renewables energy projects to become uneconomical.

China uses both Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) and feed in tariffs to promote renewables. In India there is no national level tariff or standards but the different states in the country have RPS targets and offer fixed tariffs for renewable electricity.

Australia and Japan have a national RPS scheme and different states in these countries also offer feed in tariffs. The Australian Government’s extension of renewable energy targets from 9,500 GWh by 2010 under the old Act to 45,000 GWh by 2020, as per the new law will give a major boost to the renewable energy sector in the country.

Thailand offers additional fixed tariffs for small renewable energy projects. The country has also enacted a National RPS. The renewable energy industry in the country is still in its early development stages. However, Thailand’s renewable energy industry is expected to grow at a fast pace in future with the government laying down the Renewable Energy Development Plan 2008-22. With huge biomass resources, the government expects biomass to play a leading role in this development.

The New Zealand Government has set a set a target of 90% renewable electricity by 2025. Currently the renewables account for about 70% of the country’s total electricity generation. This implies an increase of about 20% by 2025. However, the government has still not come up with any specific policy measures to promote renewables.

Indonesia and Russia lack a major policy framework for renewable energy development

Stronger policy measures could further boost the renewable energy investments in India and Japan. Both countries have huge potential in terms of renewable energy and but lack in terms of overall renewable energy targets.

Japan has made huge technological advancements in terms of renewable energy and is one of the major players in the world renewable energy market. However non-aggressive national targets for renewable energy may hinder the development of renewables in the country. The country uses RPS as the main policy instrument to support renewables. However the targets specified under the RPS are too low. The RPS aims to establish 16.0 TWh of renewable electricity by 2014, implying that only 1.63% of the total electricity is required to be generated from renewable energy sources. The renewable energy sector in the country is strongly positioned for growth and this growth would drastically increase if the government pursues stronger and more aggressive targets.

India also offers huge potential for growth of renewable energy industry. However the country still has not enacted any national RPS targets or feed in tariffs for renewables. The RPS or feed in tariffs for renewables are offered at state level, this has restricted the renewable energy development to only some states. The implementation of a national level RPS or a feed in tariff scheme will lead to a larger scale deployment of renewables in the country.