South-East Asia - Small steps forward but still a long way to go

SOUTH-EAST ASIA: Some of the region's countries are taking measures to encourage wind-power development, but regulatory and economic uncertainty and poor transmission are holding back progress in the Philippines, which has just a single 33MW wind farm built in 2009.


With plans to build four wind farms totalling 242MW, Thailand is aiming to boost its current installed capacity of just 7MW, 2MW of which was added last year.

At 90MW each and using Siemens turbines, the Huay Bong II and III wind farms are due to be built this year in Nakhon Ratchasima. Construction of the 90MW Thep Sathit Farm, which was to begin shortly, has been delayed indefinitely, according to turbine supplier GE, due to government departments disagreeing on the location. Sites with the best wind potential in Thailand are often in state-owned conservation areas, which makes gaining land permission complex.

Projects totalling 645MW are in the development pipeline. Thailand promotes renewables investment by awarding renewable-energy technologies an additional tariff on top of the standard THB 3.2/kWh ($0.1/kWh). Wind projects receive an extra THB 3.50/kWh. For wind farms in the three southernmost provinces, an additional THB 1.50Baht/kWh is paid.


Wind-power generation targets of 1GW by 2020 and 6.2GW by 2030 are in place under Vietnam's Power Master Plan VII, introduced last year, with an obligation on Electricity of Vietnam Group (EVN) to purchase all electricity generated by on-grid wind plants at a price of VND 1,614/kWh ($7.8/kWh).

A year-long project is in progress to collect data for a country-wide wind atlas. Different studies have estimated Vietnam's wind resource to be between 521GW (World Bank) and 1,785GW (EVN).

According to GIZ Wind Energy Project, a Vietnamese-German initiative advising the government, 42 wind-power projects ranging from 6MW to 150MW are at different stages of development in Vietnam, for a total capacity of 3.9GW. Last year, the Vietnam Renewable Energy Joint Stock Company completed the first phase of a 120MW wind farm in Binh Thuan Province, with 20 1.5MW turbines connected to the grid so far.