Green energy manufacturing in Southeast Asia: US$100b revenue potential by 2030
Aside from electric motorcycles and clean power, there are also opportunities in green buildings and circular packaging.
Ramping up production of renewable energy-related products like solar photovoltaic cells, batteries and electric cars could spur economic growth in Southeast Asia, according to a recent study led by the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
ADB estimated low-carbon mobility and clean power manufacturing can generate US$90b to US$100b in additional revenues by 2030 and potentially create six million jobs by 2050 across the region.
Currently, the region already produces 9% to 10% of the world’s solar PV cells and modules, about half of global nickel output, and 6% to 10% of all electric two-wheeled vehicles.
It said Southeast Asia possesses natural advantages to scale up production as it has 16 terawatt (TW) of technical solar potential and a 25% market share in the two-wheeler market globally. ADB noted the region is also home to a quarter of the world’s nickel reserves and 10% of cobalt reserves.
In solar PV manufacturing, the study estimated the region to more than double its capacity to produce modules to 125 to 150 gigawatts (GW) by 2030 from 70 GW currently.
Southeast Asia can also establish a regional battery manufacturing value chain, boost demand locally and across the region, as well as position itself as a global export hub according to the study.
ADB estimated the region could jack up its manufacturing capacity to up to 180 GW hours of battery cells by 2030 from zero footprint currently, with a focus on export sales considering the limited demand in Asia.
Opportunities also lie in the assembly of electric two-wheelers where the study expects the region to boost its capacity by nearly threefold to four million units each year at the end of the decade, from 1.5 million units per annum currently.
“By growing their renewable energy manufacturing capabilities, Southeast Asian countries can increase GDP, create jobs, and decarbonize energy systems, contributing to both economic growth and climate progress,” said Damilola Ogunbiyi, CEO and special representative of the UN Secretary-General for sustainable energy for all, which was among the group of institutions that teamed up for the study.
“This report highlights how countries within the region can establish strong, local industries that will contribute to a prosperous and sustainable