I’m Quite Confident That Curtailment Risk Will Decline A Lot In The Future As Vietnam Improves Its Transmission System, Matthew Heling, AFRY

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SolarQuarter ASEAN interviewed Matthew Heling, Head of Management Consulting- Energy, Asia Pacific at AFRY and got some brilliant insights on the overall scenario for the Renewable Sector in the SouthEast Asia region, factors which make solar sector
promising in the region, how the Feed-in-tariff mechanism can be useful in attaining the targets and the importance of digitalization.

Which country in the region is currently showing a promising future with respect to Solar? What are some of the contributing factors for it?

Considering current policies, programs, and other features, I think that most would agree that Vietnam and Malaysia currently show the most clearly promising future. Vietnam will continue to have large needs for more power generation, and already relatively friendly solar policies will likely continue, as it will want to continue attracting solar investment.

Malaysia’s solar growth has not been explosive as Vietnam’s, but that’s partly why I expect it to be a strong solar market going forward. Its solar growth has been consistent and moderately paced.

For ASEAN to achieve its renewable target of 23% by 2025, if and how can the Feed-in-tariff mechanism be useful?

The feed-in tariff (FiT) is a proven method for attracting solar projects. The challenge is to set the FiT at the “correct” level . If it’s too high, many projects will come in, but the
government will then pay more than it needs to, wasting government resources. If the FiT is too low, then developers/investors won’t be interested – or, they will cut corners
(use low-quality equipment, etc.)

Please tell us how digitization will benefit the solar sector in ASEAN region?

Digitalization can impact and improve most elements of the solar value chain. But I think it can have the most impact in the categories of system maintenance and, more interestingly, interactions with the grid and off takers. In the category of system
maintenance, it’s simply that the more data you have, the better you can predict and respond to maintenance issues, both of which can improve project economics.

Read the full interview here: https://solarquarter.com/2021/01/07/solarquarter-asean-e-magazine/

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