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SE Asia solar energy space seen up for faster growth

Vietnam is now the fastest-growing solar photovoltaic (PV) market in Southeast Asia, overtaking the Philippines but thanks partly to investments made by the Ayala group’s AC Energy and its local partners, according to SolarPlaza.

The Rotterdam-based consultancy said in a report that Southeast Asia was quickly becoming one of the most promising regions in the global expansion of the solar energy industry.

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“The high levels of solar irradiation, growing energy demand and ever-increasing level of commitment by governments in the region towards renewable energy generation are just some of the factors that have ignited a growing interest in the region from both local and international stakeholders,” the report said.

“By the end of 2018, Vietnam, Malaysia and Singapore were at the forefront of this movement —outperforming Thailand and the Philippines, the two biggest markets—with the highest amount of new PV capacity installed in the region,” it added.

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Last year, Vietnam saw various projects with a total of about 100 megawatts in power generating capacity start delivering electricity to the power grid.

SolarPlaza said Vietnam’s rise started only in 2017 when the government first developed the legal framework for solar projects, particularly through the feed-in tariff (FiT) scheme. At the end of that year, the country had only 5 MW of solar power.

Among the “noteworthy” solar projects in Vietnam, SolarPlaza lists the 330-MW cluster of solar farms—a joint venture of local firm BIM Group and AC Energy—that was switched on in April.

SolarPlaza said 2019 was set to be a major milestone not only for Vietnam’s solar PV market but also for the region’s solar industry as well.

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