Money is Slowing Renewables’ Advance in Asia

Across Asia, governments are trying to boost renewables’ share of the energy mix, but often, there’s one big obstacle holding projects back: money.

“There’s a huge surge in activity in this part of the world that’s really leading the world in adding renewable energy capacity,” Eugene Sullivan, principal investment officer at the International Finance Corp. (IFC), said at the Credit Suisse Asian Investment Conference last month. “What we don’t see in this part of the world is many of the strategic investors.”

That’s a huge difficulty for a region that the International Energy Agency estimates will need around $700 billion in energy investment through 2035. Globally, institutional investors likely can provide at most around 25 percent of renewable project equity investment and around half of the debt through 2035, according to a 2013 report from nonprofit researcher Climate Policy Initiative.