THE VIEW | How deep thinking could help harness Southeast Asia’s huge offshore wind opportunity

August 4, 2023
3 min read
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There is no doubting the size of the prize in a market that led by Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines has a total technical potential of almost 1.5TW to be tapped. But water depths and a ‘low-speed’ resource will present challenges, writes Simon Engfred Schlichting

By Simon Engfred Schlichting

The offshore wind markets in Southeast Asia together represent one of the biggest plays on the international developer radar, with a technical potential of almost 1.5TW blowing over the region’s waters. But for governments in nations ranging from Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines to Cambodia, Malaysia and Thailand, working out how to harness this resource is forcing many to face certain hard realities.

The challenge is rooted in the fact that, according to Aegir Insights' calculations, 66% of the region's technical potential sees wind speeds of only 7-8 meters per second (m/s), a good deal slower than in the North Atlantic and northern seas and so likely to be built at a less competitive levelized cost of energy.

Judged against that wind speed ‘cut off’, the region has almost 690GW of fixed-bottom and 780GW of floating potential. Furthermore, this potential is solely placed in Vietnam, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Papua New Guinea, who are expected to be able to develop their respective offshore renewables resources economically. Markets in the likes of Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Singapore are ruled out based on either low wind speeds or high water depths.

Headshot of Aegir Insights' Analysts, Simon Engfred Schlichting

'Vietnam accounts for by far-and-away the biggest slice of Southeast Asia's prospective offshore wind power pie'

Simon Engfred Schlichting
Senior Research Analyst - Regional Lead APAC
Aegir Insights

Vietnam accounts for by far-and-away the biggest slice of the prospective offshore wind pie in Southeast Asia with 754GW of potential, 59% of which flies over the nation's deep water requiring floating technologies and the reminder over fixed-bottom depth sites. ​

Much of technical potential in Indonesia and Papua New Guinea, though sizeable at 330GW and 180GW, respectively, gusts off remote locations in these countries where there a few grid connections and no industrial-scale offtakers.

Taken in the round, floating wind arrays – which will need to be built for 53 % of sites now being considered by governments in Southeast Asia – will be key.

Progress in building pace in several of these markets, with Vietnam in May enshrining its 8th Power Development Plan, which includes a 2030 offshore wind target of 6GW, and the Philippines in June unveiling a new policy framework for sea-based wind projects, along with the decision to add offshore wind to a feed-in tariff-based clean energy auction next year, to build on the 54GW of projects now moving forward there.

Read Aegir Insights' lastest market report on the region, or reach out to Head of Research Maria Bohsen to learn more about our market intelligence.

This article was part of Aegir Insights' intelligence newsletter, Beaufort.
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Tagged: APAC · Beaufort · Emerging markets

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CVR no.: 39104792

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