Aurex Insights: APAC Renewable Energy

December 2020

Welcome to the latest coverage of the APAC Renewable Energy market by Aurex Group. In this market review, our specialist team covers the significant trends influencing the industry from green hydrogen to the strength of off-shore wind projects in the region. We also take a look at the changing hiring and recruitment landscape for both employers and professionals.

If you are interested in gaining further insight, please reach out to Amy Marietta, Consultant – Power Generation, Asia below.

What people are talking about:

  • Is Green Hydrogen the next go-to technology?
  • How do we drive recruitment in a post pandemic world?
  • Offshore Wind Pipeline Goes from Strength to Strength in APAC.


Key News in M&A:

 
  • European Commission has given the green light for a deal that will give Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd a minority stake in Danish turbine maker Vestas Wind Systems A/S in exchange for its interest in their equally-owned offshore wind joint venture (JV).
  • Australian developer CWP Renewables and Swiss private markets investor Partners Group have merged their Aussie assets to create a company with a 2.2 GW renewables pipeline, the Australian Financial Review (AFR) reports.
  • Offshore energy consultancy services provider AqualisBraemar ASA has agreed to take over LOC Group to further grow in the offshore renewables industry.
  • The New South Wales government has given the thumbs up to a 300-MW solar project proposed by the Australian unit of Spain-based Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV). The AUD-399-million (USD 294.6m/EUR 245.9m) Walla Walla scheme has secured conditional approval from the state’s planning commission.


Is Green Hydrogen the next go-to technology?

 

Well firstly, is Hydrogen even green? This question has been posed by many an individual recently especially with the rise of such initiatives as the Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain between Australia and Japan. Some individuals, maybe the more optimistic, say it absolutely is! Whilst there is a far larger group of individuals who say it is absolutely not!

In reality, it has become clear to me that really its credential as a “green technology” come down to its production. It sounds green on the surface – use renewable energy to produce electricity and then harness that energy in the electrolysis of water and you form Green Hydrogen.

However, every tonne of hydrogen produced from coal emits 20 tonnes of carbon dioxide which is more than double the CO2 emissions created when hydrogen is produced from natural gas. Now whilst it seems to be a tricky area to navigate, it is clear that if completely renewably produced and partnered with a very strong carbon capture scheme, then it is “Green” and will help countries like Japan hit carbon-neutrality by their 2050 deadline.

It may be early but already I (Dan Rose) am told by clients that they are witnessing a big push towards electrolyser technologies, whilst pilot projects are already being undertaken to establish the feasibility of hydrogen gas being integrated into existing infrastructure.

Given APAC remains the highest potential and fastest expanding region for energy demand and renewables over the decade, it is clear this hydrogen pathway could also lead us to a potential secondary use for the excess energy from renewables and be used as a form of energy storage.

The growth of green hydrogen in the region will be driven by Australia and Japan but with increasing support from China, India, South Korea, New Zealand and Singapore. The key piece of information in all of this is that hydrogen has been written into most of these nations policy agenda.

So, what does this mean in terms of talent? At this stage, most individuals involved with Hydrogen are involved in relation to the structuring, advising and financing activities such as sourcing early stage investments. These roles are typically being taken up by senior level investment professionals with strong origination experience and excellent knowledge in financial due diligence.

Technical roles right now are very much in R&D space or within lenders engineering teams in which the technical viabilities of hydrogen are being tested to complement the financial decision making.

One thing is for certain, this could be an excellent opportunity for many more traditional energy professionals to make that transition to green energy within this emerging talent pool.

How do we drive recruitment in a post pandemic world?

 

We are getting to the end of a pandemic ridden year in which so much has changed, especially across the working world.

Here at Aurex, we have seen conversations with potential candidates become more rigid around certain aspects; security of role, organisation structure, work location and employer brand.

Naturally, the security of one’s role in this current climate is top of any conversation and we do not see this changing any time soon for obvious reasons.

One that has surprised us is a lack of need for seniority and “where do I sit in the hierarchy?” but instead there is a focus on the location of work – is it home or an office? Most importantly though, it is the interactions people will need to have. Individuals, more so than ever, are seeking collaboration and colleague interaction.

The most important discussions now though are on the brand name and what the organisation is projecting to do. Brand recognition has always been important but now with so many people working from home the need for them to appreciate the brand and work hard for it is more important. One of the key questions; how well did you deal with employees during the pandemic months?

Driving recruitment during the next year will really need to start with your brand and how is it represented in the market, a clear structure aligned internally so that any new starters know their colleagues and can collaborate with them from day one, even when at home.

2021 will see skilled professionals have even more choice about their careers and so the competition for talent will intensify even with an increasingly buoyant candidate driven market.

So, the questions for all our clients going into next year are; how do you feel your brand sits in the market space? Do you think you have a good reputation with your staff? Anything you can do to bring positive changes to these questions will reduce the time needed to fill roles as better-quality applicants will become interested whilst crucially, it will reduce your cost per hire as you will not solely be dependent on high compensation to attract talent.

Offshore Wind Pipeline goes from strength to strength in APAC

 

Orsted has outlined its intention to develop offshore wind projects in Asia Pacific with a potential capacity of up to 1.6GW off the coast of South Korea.

According to Fitch Solutions Country Risk and Industry Research’s new outlook for wind power, offshore wind will play a vital role in driving global wind power growth as the project pipeline in markets outside Western Europe, particularly in Asia, continuously strengthens.

Fitch’s wind power outlook says that whilst the Asian offshore wind sector is currently small at 2.3GW, the region “makes up 29% of the global project pipeline with 42GW of new capacity planned, an increase from our previous assessment of 35GW.”

Reports show that, in Q1 2020, 88% of all the world’s turbine orders came from Asia.

Currently, Vietnam has two operating offshore wind farms—Bac Lieu phases I and II—with 22 new projects in the pipeline totalling just about 9GW. In Q1 2020, its prime minister issued a resolution for a five-year plan to 2025 to develop offshore renewable energy, with specific mechanisms and policies to attract both foreign and local developers.

The Taiwan market has also seen a series of early test deployments, Fitch said, noting the full-scale 128MW array Formosa 1. Since the development of the Formosa 1 project, Taiwan’s pipeline has grown, with the inclusion of 18 new projects totalling 6.3GW of capacity. “In line with the government’s aim to rely on renewable sources to offset a reduction in nuclear and coal-fired power output, the projects have been given a short time-frame, with the majority to be completed by 2025,” Fitch added.

Offshore wind is already facing competition with all skillsets needed across the projects and with more investment and longer term aims towards 2050, we expect to see a need for significant developments in localised skillsets to match such ambitions. Many expats will be keen to travel but unless there is some aim towards developing local talents then these projects will surely end up with international talent being fought over with the outcome coming down to who can pay more.

Market Moves

 

  • Eun Suk Jung leaves EM Tech to join Northland Power as their Managing Director for South Korea.
  • Giang Nguyen has joined Vietnam Solar Power Utilities as their Chief Operating Officer having left Pacifico earlier this year.
  • Enercon have announced the retirement of Hans-Dieter Kettwig as CEO with Momme Janssen stepping from Chief Human Resources Officer into the Chief Executive Officer role to replace him.
  • Raul Dealbert becomes the new Head of Operations for Peak Energy, having left his role as Portfolio Director at Macquarie Capital.
  • LYS Energy have hired Febien Chedefaux as their Country Manager for Thailand after exiting GreenYellow


We always look forward to keeping in touch and exchanging ideas, insights, and opinions. If you are a company considering hiring, we welcome the opportunity to present our services and capabilities. If you are a candidate, please check our jobs page or reach out to us to discuss your background, skills, and future aspirations.

Daniel Rose

Head of Technical Disciplines
Energy & Natural Resources

E daniel@aurexgroup.com
EA 18S9493 | R1550272

Amy Marietta

Consultant
Power Generation, Asia

E amy.marietta@aurexgroup.com
EA 18S9493 | R1550272

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