We Believe Our Approach Of Combining Long term Strategic Thinking With Regional And Local Understanding Of The Market Is Hugely Valuable: Niranpal Singh, General Manager APAC – BayWa r.e. Energy Solutions Sdn Bhd

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The appetite from companies across South East Asia for renewable energy is growing – but not always in line with a true understanding of how embracing renewables can form part of a successful , long-term business strategy. General Manager for BayWa r.e. Energy Solutions Sdn Bhd, Niranpal Singh explores what’s happening – and looks at
what might be done to make the most of the undoubted opportunities…

What are the common hurdles corporates face when it comes to adopting a renewable energy strategy?

It’s great that increasingly, companies are keen to embrace renewables. But there are
challenges, and these differ across the SEA region. There’s everything from grid capacity to consider – something that’s often an issue, but with the right planning and forethought can be overcome – to the nuts and bolts of how to safely build, commission and maintain any installations. Corporate brands may not be the developers of such capacity, but for any partnership to be successful and sustainable in the longer term, it’s important that all
such issues are not only understood at the outset, but also addressed.

What are the benefits for companies that might be embarking on designing and
implementing a renewable energy strategy?

For many multinationals, there is pressure from ‘the top’ to change as they seek to meet their organisational carbon reduction and renewable generation targets, and find ways of achieving this across their global operations. Stakeholders, customers and investors through to governments and pressure groups, are all part of the mix of drivers, too, as the appreciation of the impact of climate change grows. Therefore, setting out and delivering a renewable energy strategy plays to these concerns, and delivers brand enhancement and reputational benefits. But a well-thought out and implemented strategy will offer much more than this, providing not only pricing certainty but also
supply security: important considerations for any business.

Can you offer an example of how one country in the region is dealing with all these considerations?

Let’s take Vietnam as a case study. At the end of 2020, there was something of a scramble as companies rushed to take advantage of the country’s Feed in-tariff (FiT) policy coupled with an attractive generation price. The pilot program for a direct power
purchase agreements (DPPAs) is long awaited and the program is expected to follow in Q2’2021.

This was good news for the expansion of renewable generation capacity in a country
where energy demand is outstripping economic growth. However, I suspect that the rush
was driven more by fear of missing out (FOMO) rather than by any long-term strategy on the part of either corporate organisations or developers.

Of course, there are other drivers at work here. The government is keen to reduce its reliance on energy imports. In 2014, Vietnam’s installed renewable capacity was less than one-third of one per cent. By the end of 2019, it was 10% of the total – evidence of
ambition.

Read the full interview here: https://solarquarter.com/2021/04/27/solarquarter-asean-magazine-jan-2021-issue/

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