Asia to pass 800GW of renewables by 2026: BMI Research

Renewable energy capacity in Asia is expected to more than double in the next decade with growth driven by China, according to forecasts from BMI Research.

The consultancy said that between 2016 and 2026, Asia’s renewable energy capacity will surge from 370GW to nearly 805GW, driven primarily by wind and solar projects.

“China will be the major force behind capacity growth in Asia, but India and South East Asia will register strong growth, as environmental policy rises up the political agenda,” analysts said.

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Asia's role in the worldwide renewables sector will increase over the next decade, research suggests, from just over a 42% share in the global renewables capacity mix in 2016 to around 48% in 2026 .

“This is in part due to the slowdown we anticipate in the European market, which currently accounts for a significant proportion of the global renewables industry, but also due to strong capacity growth across the Asia region,” said BMI.

The growth in Asia will mostly be due to the falling cost of wind and solar technology, advances in green technology and the implementation of more stringent environmental policy in the region.

“This growing focus on environmental policy is being driven by both domestic and international pressure to reduce coal-fired power generation – with coal still the prevalent fuel source in the region – and tackle ongoing pollution issues,” said BMI.

“This is translating into more favourable policies for renewable energy – including tax incentives, feed-in tariff (FiT) programmes and increasingly, competitive bidding systems, which are also referred to as reverse capacity auctions,” it said.

The consultancy said it expects China's installed renewables capacity base to total nearly 530GW by 2026 as the government remains committed to renewable energy. India will follow closely in terms of new capacity to be added, said BMI, due to a rapidly expanding solar sector across both residential and utility-scale projects.

Meanwhile, Thailand and Indonesia will be the outperformers in South East Asia, with Thailand the standout market for solar and biomass, while Indonesia is progressing with developing geothermal capacity.