The Asia Climate Finance Podcast

Ep47 Asia RE projects development “101”, ft Steve Shi, Sungrow

June 03, 2024 Episode 47
Ep47 Asia RE projects development “101”, ft Steve Shi, Sungrow
The Asia Climate Finance Podcast
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The Asia Climate Finance Podcast
Ep47 Asia RE projects development “101”, ft Steve Shi, Sungrow
Jun 03, 2024 Episode 47

Topics? Guest ideas? Comments? Just text us, including reply details

In this episode, we focus on a crucial part of climate-related business and finance: the creation of renewable energy projects. This is a significant step towards a cleaner energy future. Our expert guest, Steve Shi, is a seasoned professional in renewable energy project transactions, with experience in North America and Southeast Asia. He will enlighten us on the necessary steps to develop clean energy projects and share his insights on key Asian electricity markets, including the Philippines, Vietnam, and Bangladesh.

ABOUT STEVE. Difu (Steve) Shi is the Overseas Transaction Manager for Sungrow Renewables. He is based in Southeast Asia and coordinates renewable energy investments and transactions in the ASEAN market for Sungrow Renewables, the development arm of Sungrow. Prior to joining Sungrow Renewables, he was the leading analyst for a publicly listed IPP based in Toronto, Canada, covering the North American market. He also held positions at KPMG and EY in Beijing. Steve holds an MBA from the University of Toronto, is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in Hong Kong and Ontario, and also holds Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designations. He volunteered for over eight years at the Toronto Wildlife Center, transporting dozens of injured red-tailed hawks and owls to the rehabilitation facility.

Please take note of the disclaimer at the end of the episode.

HOST, PRODUCTION, ARTWORK: Joseph Jacobelli | MUSIC: Ep0-29 The Open Goldberg Variations, Kimiko Ishizaka Ep30- Orchestra Gli Armonici – Tomaso Albinoni, Op.07, Concerto 04 per archi in Sol - III. Allegro. | FEEDBACK:

Show Notes Transcript

Topics? Guest ideas? Comments? Just text us, including reply details

In this episode, we focus on a crucial part of climate-related business and finance: the creation of renewable energy projects. This is a significant step towards a cleaner energy future. Our expert guest, Steve Shi, is a seasoned professional in renewable energy project transactions, with experience in North America and Southeast Asia. He will enlighten us on the necessary steps to develop clean energy projects and share his insights on key Asian electricity markets, including the Philippines, Vietnam, and Bangladesh.

ABOUT STEVE. Difu (Steve) Shi is the Overseas Transaction Manager for Sungrow Renewables. He is based in Southeast Asia and coordinates renewable energy investments and transactions in the ASEAN market for Sungrow Renewables, the development arm of Sungrow. Prior to joining Sungrow Renewables, he was the leading analyst for a publicly listed IPP based in Toronto, Canada, covering the North American market. He also held positions at KPMG and EY in Beijing. Steve holds an MBA from the University of Toronto, is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in Hong Kong and Ontario, and also holds Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designations. He volunteered for over eight years at the Toronto Wildlife Center, transporting dozens of injured red-tailed hawks and owls to the rehabilitation facility.

Please take note of the disclaimer at the end of the episode.

HOST, PRODUCTION, ARTWORK: Joseph Jacobelli | MUSIC: Ep0-29 The Open Goldberg Variations, Kimiko Ishizaka Ep30- Orchestra Gli Armonici – Tomaso Albinoni, Op.07, Concerto 04 per archi in Sol - III. Allegro. | FEEDBACK:

Please note: This transcript is computer-generated and will contain some inaccuracies. For the most precise information, please refer to the actual podcast recording.


Welcome to the Asia Climate Finance podcast, where our host and his guest discuss and evaluate climate business and climate finance issues and trends. Please support us by liking and subscribing to the podcast. Also, please note the disclaimers at the end of the show. Here is your host, investor analyst and author, Joseph Jacobelli. 


Hello there and welcome to episode 47 of the Asia Climate Finance podcast. Today's a very interesting conversation because we're talking about experiences from a renewable energy development projects development. Point of view and someone who's worked both in North America and the ASEAN region as well as Bangladesh and Is going to compare and contrast some of his experiences Our guest is Steve Shi who is the overseas transaction manager for Sungrow Asia.


Pacific, currently based in Manila at Sungrow, as many of you know, is a well-known Chinese renewables company, a renewables equipment company, which is most famous for its inverters, but actually they do quite a bit of, overseas renewable energy projects development. Enjoy the show. Hello again, and welcome to episode 47.


So, as I mentioned in the introduction today, our guest is, Steve Scherr, who's currently based in Manila, but basically is based in the whole of Asia because he travels around quite a lot. Hello, Steve. How are you? Oh, hi, Joseph. I'm doing good. How are you? 


Very good. Very good. Thank you for making the time.


Really very grateful for that. Steve, could we perhaps first start with you just, you know, quick introduction of yourself and you know, what, what, what you've been doing? 


Sure, definitely. Well, thank you, Joseph. Hello everyone. for having me today. Currently, I'm working for Sungrow Renewables. We are the wholly owned affiliate of SunGrow power supply group.


So the group is famous for inverters. So the group focuses on inverters and batteries manufacturing, right? And our SunGrow Renewables are completely dedicated to renewable project development and operation. So me, myself, is responsible for coordinating the M& A activities in Southeast Asia under our overseas business division.


So right now I'm based in Manila, Philippines. because, we have projects in this country right now. before joining Sun Grove, I was working for an, IPP based in Toronto, Canada. So during that time I was working in the business development team with the focus on, project acquisition and, Greenfield project development.


So the company's business covers. Both Canada and the U. S., so I got some chance to learn about the renewable energy industry and the electric power sector in North America. So, as I said, I feel thrilled to get invited to talk about some renewable energy industries across different markets. So I really appreciate the chance today, and I will try my best to share some of my views and observations.


And also, as requested by the company policy, I need a disclaimer here that, what I said, and I will say only present my personal view and are from all from public sources. So my opinions have nothing to do with the current projects I'm working on, or anything related to my current job or previous companies.


Thank you. No 


problem. That's, that's totally, totally understood. And one disclaimer on my side, actually in, in, in my home in Hong Kong, I do have a Sungrow inverter. So I'm very happy with the product. So, but, but no bias, no bias, no, no bias on that, on that. So Steve, I think that the conversation that, you know, we, we had.


Kind of planned is, is really to do with a very interesting angle because you've got the kind of business development experiences in North America, and now you've been in Southeast Asia for a while. So you've kind of developed some experiences there. And I thought that, you know, listeners would be very, very interested in knowing, you know, what are some of the.


Key differences that you found between those two markets. So what were the key experiences in North America that you found would be quite helpful in project development in the ASEAN region? 


Okay, so it's really a great question. So, I think firstly, I need to clarify a little bit that, I am not specialized in project development, so I'm more on the transaction side, which involves, primarily modelling financing due diligence and execution.


But normally I have intensive communications with our project development team colleagues, on a daily basis. Also, each time when I meet with investors, I need to be, able to give some updates on the overall, development progress and the status. So, so in terms of that, I, I have some, I do have something to, I can share, share with everyone.


So I think the, if you talk about the most helpful, experience that I got from my experience in North America. I would say the first thing I can think of is the kind of the core logic of developing a renewable energy. So I think to some extent it's similar across different markets. So the differences are more about the approach or the methodology to achieve those targets.


So take a very, give a very easy, simple example is that, so in solar projects, we like, either on, in North America or in Philippines, we also use PV system report and, we use wind energy assessment report, probably just different names on, like, for example, system impact study versus like great, constraint or curtailment study.


So those type of stuff. so only I think there are slightly difference in names and also, in terms of the steps to develop a project. I think almost all the renewable energy projects, no matter in, no matter it is a wind or a solar or even like energy storage. Basically, there will be some similar stages.


So, for example, when we, develop projects in the US, like, assuming that you have already determined that the natural resources, including the radiation and, wind speed are satisfying. So then we will follow some general steps. First, I think it will be the desktop, desktop research, for example, according to some regulations of, like FAA or like some critical issues analysis.


And then the next important thing is about, Land and site control or land titles. So convey, we need to convey, convey the land rights, required to execute the proposed project and we have to like secure contract contractual, rights to the site at, or, or near the conclusion of predevelopment stage.


And especially in the States, for, for those projects in the West, the federal agencies should verify. Like whether the proposed site is, administered or like affected by, the, the, the Bureau of Land Management, right? So those type of stuff, and also you have to do a lot of due diligence work by the report, and also you need to research on, those minerals and do some, biological studies and for certain regions.


You also need to. do some works on the wetland, delineation and also some flood control air in some flood control areas. So then, that's the, for the land part. And also you need to, the, the next critical part will be the interconnection application. So as you may know that there are like seven, us independent system, we call that ISO.


So there are seven ISO operators and also. Like, more than 10, major utilities covering, the rest part of the country. so including the Southeast and the West and, and, and by the way, I'll just right now, the average time waiting time for the interconnection application is more than like three years, but I will elaborate on that point later.


So that’s for interconnection. And then the next step will be. Or the next stage will be like permitting, right? So for a project, you definitely need to get a variety of permitting before construction can be started, right? So from, that's all kinds of permitting, from local building permits, like, so the internal authorizations to, To the satisfaction of like, and EPA requirements and also, for example, the environmental side assessments, water, wildlife, fish, bird, everything, agricultural, those type of stuff.


So it's a very, very long list for each project. And also, the next part will be. design and engineering for sure. And also, you need to get a PPA. That's the best scenario, right? And also, I think this, this step is also very, very important. And also, this, work should, this will take time. So the work should start much earlier than, the project starts, and I think the last part will be, the finance, the capital, right?


Project finance, whatever, or, or, or tax equity in the United States. So whatever it costs, so I think that's some major elements in a project development. Process, right? So basically, for example, right now, I'm working on a project in the Philippines. So generally, based on my observation, they are the same.


The stages are quite similar. Maybe probably the importance is maybe slightly different. but, overall, the core logic, as I said, the core logic of developing a project is quite similar. So overall, the knowledge can be partially transferred from North America to, Philippines or the other ASEAN countries.


Yeah. Yeah. So I think, I think that's the most, the first thing I can think of, if you ask me about the, something that I can, that would be helpful, helpful, like based on my, experience. Yeah, right. So, so, so in in. So what you're saying basically, is that the actual steps are quite similar, although the kind of importance of individual steps may be slightly.


So different between, Southeast Asia and, and North America. You mentioned something about, you know, taking as much as three years to get, approval for the project projects in North America. Can you talk a little bit more about that? 


Sure. Yeah. So I think that's, one of the things that surprised me a lot, when I, come back to Asia, right? So given just some background here. So, right now, like, as I said, there are seven ISOs and also more than 10, regions in the States. I mean, in terms of electricity, electric power market. So right now, like, like, based on some research numbers saying that there are Over 2000 gigawatts, like actively, actively undergoing like the impact studies to connect to the grid.


Right? So specific is that. So, California, there's a Kaiso there. So, Kaiso has the largest interconnection queue, longest line. So they are around like nearly 500, 500 gigawatts of capacity on the review. They are waiting for the impact studies to be done. And a PGM, is to PGM. of solar projects there.


And I think that the capacity in the line is around 100, 170 gigawatts. So, the long feasibility study permitting timelines is the very is I think it's the one of the top energy transition hurdles in the States. So, based back to your question. So, the average duration from, like, when a project is dropped in a queue to its proposed online date ranges from, like, 737 months to 70 months.


So the quickest one is 4pm, it takes about three years, and the longest one is for like the southwest power pool, which takes about more than five years. So that, I think that's the reality in the States right now. So basically, as a, like a, as a project developer, like, if you propose something, and you probably have to wait for only for the international application, it will take you around maybe at least three to four years. 


So, which brings a lot of risk and the cost, of course, of course. And what about the experience so far in ASEAN as far as you can see? 


Yeah, sure. So, so the ASEAN, even though some of the regulation system is not as complete or developed than that in the States, the processing time is much faster. So one of the projects I'm working on, it only takes three years to, to no more than three years, two to three years from submitting the proposal to, to the construction starts.


So it's much, much faster than, than, than, than what in, than that in the States. 


So when it comes to regulation, obviously, you know, we we've got. A situation in ASEAN where regulation every country is very, very, very different. and, and I'm guessing that the differences, there are some differences between Canada and the U.


S. But in terms of, all, everything that you've come across, are there one, two or three, things on the regulation front, which kind of, you know, Surprised you in Southeast Asia versus North America. 


definitely, definitely. Because there, as you can, as you just mentioned, because they are, first, there are difference between North America and Asia.


And secondly, there are multiple, there are 10 countries in ASEAN. So, so there are 10 different countries, so they are different in many, levels. So, first, firstly, I want to say, actually, no matter in which country, in which, which market, the power industry is always heavily regulated. That is kind of like a common sense that, different countries will set different regulation system, based on their country's needs and the real situation.


But that reminds me of, time capsule theory. It means that every economy and country, may follow a similar path to develop, more or less, So I believe that what has happened in the developed countries will also take place in developing countries as well at a certain point, just a matter of time.


So, look, look what, what the electricity market looks like, in, in the US, in the UK, in Europe and in Australia. According to their unique situation, those ASEAN countries will highly likely. Gradually, step by step build up the similar electricity market in the future, right? So eventually, probably their generation, their transmission and distribution functions will be independent, independent from, the government control, right?


So the private sector investors will participate in their energy transformation. So from that perspective, I think if you are familiar with those market in developed countries, your knowledge and experience may be helpful, like when you have the chance to witness those same, witness the same thing happen again in some developing countries, right?


And, to address your question about some regular differences in regulation system, I think in some, I think in some Southeast countries, we can see that the lack, there's a lack of approval from, from the perspective of technical department. So what does that mean? It means that. There are too many projects have been approved, like without consulting electricity regulators, or you can say without a plan.


It shows that the governments are very eager to increase their capacity. you know, very short period of time. So unlike Japan, like what I heard was that the Japan government has a constant and a manageable, new generation capacity rollout plan. Right. Yes. So additionally, we can see that in us in countries, many of the countries, they only have a big, big plan, but they are not clear instructions or stable policies to regulate the development process and some standards in the approval process are pretty ambiguous.


So, but I think it can be supported and many is through many is through like transparent policy that. country is able to roll out there and provide a road map for investors and developers. Of this project to bring those into operation, but I think every so everything will be better in the future.


I don't I don't think you're being overly optimistic. I think the trajectory. of development of renewable energy in in ASEAN. I mean, it's been bumpy, you know, some years are better than others, but at the end of the day, it's been increasing massively. And, and remains a very, very attractive market.


When you're dealing in North America versus ASEAN, did you find, you know, Major differences when you're trying to, you know, obviously try to sign a PPA and structure the PPA. 


Yeah. Yeah, for sure. that is also another, critical, critical component of a project, right? So, for, speaking of PPA, I think the most thing like you can think of is the price.


Right. So, so the electric, electricity price, the PPA price is another thing that I find very, different across different markets. So, actually the electricity price is much higher than I expected in Southeast, Southeast Asia or ASEAN regions. So it's quite counterintuitive that the energy price in developing country is actually, So I remember that in states, the, the, the price varies right in different nodes.


It's different, it's different, markets, mechanism, but the PPA price for, for wind is normally, Well, it's also depend on different locations, but normally it's below like five cents per kilowatt for most of the states and The price for solar is even lower But on the contrary that for example the gf2 ppa price in Philippines is almost 80 sorry 8 cents kilowatt So it's almost more than like 50 percent higher than the price in the United States.


And in Bangladesh, the price for solar is around nine to 10 cents per kilowatts. So I was trying to think what's the, what's the driver of this. So one reason might be that So us in countries, they have to import, import a large number of fuels to satisfy their needs for energy. Right? So Philippines, for example, the re, re, the retail electricity for commercial is around 12 cents.


Per kilowatt and the residential electricity is, is reaching 20 cents per kilowatt. So almost the highest country in Southeast Asia. So in any month, at least 90% of electricity from, Morocco, which is the biggest distribution, company in, in Philippines. 


So 90% of the electricity. Is generated from fossil fuels.


So I think that's one of the main reasons that's why they like the power electric power price in Southeast Asia is so high. So, so that's really give me a, a kind of a shock there. And also, because they are. Different levels of, how to say that, like the development of, industrialization. So because the economic, economic structure is different in two locations in North America. 


After all, it's a development, it's a developed country, right? So they are, in industrial, companies and also maybe data centres that need, a PPA. But, here, in, in Southeast Asia, Southeast Asia. countries, the market is less open than in the U S in the U S. So, yeah, it's usually we sign the PPA with the transcode rather than, a single company or like a third-party company.


So I think that's the kind of some, fundamental difference in terms of the PPA. 


Yeah. I mean, prices in, places like, Japan and like, The Philippines have historically been extremely high by, by global standards. And, recently because of the depreciation of Japanese yen, the price per kilowatt hour in Japan looks a little bit lower.


But in fact, if you use an old exchange rate, you can see that it's still sky high because they've suffered from high pricing from, gas. We've talked about some of your kind of key experiences in North America versus ASEAN. We've talked about, you know, what kind of, what are the things that kind of surprise you, in the ASEAN markets.


And the third area that I wanted to just cover is, how, you know, how do you think about some of the markets, you know, from your own personal perspective? And maybe we can pick, the Philippines first, just because you're there. Yeah, 


sure. so Philippines that's, I know Philippines. Well, because we have projects here and I have been staying here for several months.


So, I think overall, Philippines has a great energy plan here. So, I think everyone in the market knows about the 2020 to 2040 Philippines energy plan. So, I don't need to talk too much about this. So, I think that overall, I think the Philippines is the most open market in the ASEAN. Region right now because of its, merchant electricity market.


I think the market is basically, reformed based on the, the one act named, the Electric Power Industry Reform Act. right. Which is, which was released in 20 2001. Right. So basically the, the act and the, the, the goal of the act is to restructure the electric power industry. By privatizing the generation, transmission, distribution, and supply in the power sector, right?


So, many restrictions have been removed. So, it's kind of, your tailwind for private sector investors to participate. So, basically, right now, you will assign the PPA with the transcode, not the PPA. As I said, not a, any company. So, so in 2024, look at other economies around the world. Not many opportunities available right to sign a PPA with a transco.


So, in addition to that, there are also some, exam exemptions on, VAT on local equipment and the construction and also the electricity, generated from renewable resources are. exempted from the VAT as well. So, so basically, the, the overall regulation system in Philippines is well established.


So you have a clear instruction on each step. And also you can find, also you can find a report is established by DOE, that has clearly instructed you how to do, for each step. so based on current information is that the GF3 will be held in August 2024, but that will also only focus on, non, non-fit eligible renewable technologies, including like geothermal or like, impounding hydro or pump storage hydro.


So, not highly relevant. Right. 


Me. so in terms of the. Like a project development in Philippines. I can say that there are several, important elements that the first thing is, you have to get the business license and permits from DOE, which is Department of Energy and the POI. And also you need to get some. 


the environmental compliance certificate from, they call that DNR and then that's art for the business license. And then similarly, as I mentioned earlier, the next step will be the grid interconnection permits from DOE, right? You have to complete the, some regulation requirements from, the, from ERC and you have to attend.


The COC, which is the Certificate of Compliance, and also you have to get the Metering Service Agreement, we call that MSA, and also, the Transmission Service Agreement. So basically, as I said again, it's all clearly, instructed in their report, so you just simply follow the steps to get there. And, the next part will be the Land Control, which involves the title transfer of the lands.


And, right away, right away and, the easement and speaking of which, I think probably I missed that, before because land issue is a very, very high risky portion of, developing a project in Southeast countries. So, usually in Southeast countries, they are many, many landlords. Owners involved in, energy project, especially for solar projects, right?


So, many of the, many of the projects were, or unsuccessful because of simply because they cannot, they cannot get the land control down. So it's always like a pain in the butt. So you always have to keep an eye on that part. 




when you. When you, complete the land control, you have to get the support and approval from, local government units.


For example, in Philippines, you need to get approval from Barangay, and you have to get approval from the city, and also province. And then, next step, the next part will be, you have to obtain different kinds of construction permits, which includes the, which includes the locational clearance, maybe some also building permits, electrical permit, water permits, and the list is also very long. 


And finally, I think another important part will be. You have to complete some feasibility studies, right? So I have to do some system impact study, hydrological and flooding study because if it's in Philippines, so, and also. I'm not sure if I will, touch on that point later because I can, I can bring it here that the infrastructures, the big, the transmission infrastructure is also another, kind of bottleneck for, like us in countries.


So, the grid congestion. So that's the point of the system impact study here. I think that's the basic, fundamental information about. the project development in Philippines. 


So it's, it's, it's actually very interesting, Steve, that, you know, your experience, and I, I know you've only been there for a few months, but your experience has been relatively positive.


I mean, of, of, of course, there are frustrations because you have to run around and get different permits from different offices, but you know, that's part of the nature of the game, I guess. in, in, in, in the last few years, the, the, the Philippines, Well, a few years ago, the Philippines had a really negative reputation because investors felt that it was moving, you know, two steps forward and then five steps back when it came to, So it's great that, you know, there's been a, a massive shift.


talking about another market, what about Vietnam? 


Yeah. Vietnam is also, an interesting place. It means that there are a lot of stories in this market. As you may know, that, PDPA that sets out, the country's, electricity roadmap for, for the period through. To 2030, right? So they also with have a vision towards 2045. 


so, basically, I think that represents, Vietnam's clearest commitment, towards decarbonization. since they like announced that, in October, like in 2021, the COP26 summit, right? But the reality is that if you are really, like following a Vietnam market, you will know that. The reality is that the COVID related construction and supply chain delays like resulted in many, solar and wind projects in Vietnam, failing to, Achieve the, the COD before the, the feeding tariff deadline of, 2020, the year end of 2020.


Right. And, so many investors and developers are facing the problems of, stranded assets because the Vietnam government, they, still, don't have a clear policy or guidance on the, the electricity price, even though. They established the so called, transition period price, that the ceiling price is still, too low for investors to, collect their investments.


So I can give you some numbers here. So, right now the, the so called the transition period price is only 5 cents, nearly 5 cents for, onshore solar and, 7 cents for onshore wind, and you, you have to, remember that the previously the feet price was around a 7 cents for onshore solar and, Almost 8.


5 cents for onshore wind. So it was at least like 20 to 30 percent drop in the price. So I was told that the new PPA will not be available until early next year. So, in the short term, I feel like, they are less chance to develop a Greenfield project in Vietnam right now. however, There might be some chances to acquire some operating assets with a discounted price, given the circumstance right now.


But again, I think the bankability is in doubt under such circumstances. Also, to echo your, your point about the Philippines market. So I, I do hear what, what you said. So, I agree with you that, the policy issue or like you said, maybe some ambiguity in the policy is, it's a common thing in, in, in Southeast countries and, Also, probably that also requires some work in maintaining or building the relationship with the government and also some, the government officers here.


But I think that's a non technical part. So I didn't elaborate on that part, but being honest, we will face similar situations, no matter in which country in Asia countries. Right. 


Yeah. so specifically for about, the VNM. So, yeah. So I think also the risks also, rise from the congestion and the curtailment due to the lack of transmission infrastructure. 


Unfortunately, the kind of grip bottlenecks and the lag. Effect of building grids is a is a problem. We see all over the world. I mean, we see it in Europe. We see it in the course, even to some extent in China and China is China is very, very, very good at it. But even in China, there are some good bottlenecks. 


another market I wanted to speak about very quickly was Bangladesh. 


Yeah. Yeah. Bangladesh. I know that, not many people, not many investors are interested in Bangladesh because due to some certain, country risk or, or I'm not, I'm just not, I'm not sure if that appropriate to say that in this way, but, Even like in 2016, I think Bangladesh published their vision 2041 plan to develop their electricity generations in terms of capacity efficiency and also and the weightings of clean energy, right?


So, but due to some problems carried over from the past. So the present structure of power sector is still at an. Early stage, so to speak, so basically the power generation, transmission and distribution are still under the government's control, right? So especially when you compare that to some other, regulation system in other, part of the world.


So, so here, in Bangladesh, the basic development process is, also similar. you have to get approvals from multiple government organizations to get a To get an AOI first, and then after AOI, you need to secure all the land. and then you have the chance to sign in the PPA. And also, in Bangladesh, the most headache is the land issue.


So You know that sunlight is abundant in Bangladesh, but, in one of the most densely populated countries like on Earth, they are inadequate land here. So, and also, the more important, moreover, is that the land titles disputes are very common in Bangladesh. Still due to some problems carry over from the past, when Bangladesh was colonized 200 years, actually.


So as a result, sometimes it's nearly impossible to get the ultimately clean land records or titles, because there have been too many stories, too many people, families, too much, too many things have happened. So, so, so, so in, in Bangladesh, it's very funny that, each landlord or land owner only owns literally a slice of the land.


So it's, it's, it's a normal situation that for a solar project, I have to deal with over 100 landowners to negotiate the price and figures, figure out the ownership issue. it's, it's sometimes most of the projects also was killed because they cannot get the land. they cannot secure the land.


So, and, but, why the Bangladesh is interesting is that the PPA price is really high. Like right now you can get around maybe 10 cents per kilowatt for now. So even though I know it's probably, it's risky there, but, if you have the power, you have the resources, you can take a look on this market as well. 


No, that's, that's very interesting. Very interesting points. although the land rights issues is, is not an uncommon problem in many, many countries all around, all around Asia. I had one final question, Steve, if I could. and it's basically what's, Your overall kind of gut feeling over the next, you know, 25 years thinking about, you know, 2015 net zero.


What's your overall, overall outlook on, on these markets? 


well, I think it's, it's a really big question. So I'm not sure if I have to, if I'm capable of giving such a outlook, but I just simply want to share some of my thoughts. Thoughts or observations here. So I, so I understand that people are curious about this region, right?


And they actively look for opportunities here. So I totally agree with the view that the trend of acceleration in developing capacities for renewable energy is obvious, but they are like something that you need to at least consider that when you do some analysis on this market. I think the first thing is that, The actual, the actual capital deployed, deployed in this region is still low.


Like, so to answer your question, so I still have belief that in the next 20, 25 years, there will be, a lot of money or capital, will be deployed in this region. So over the past five years, the region attracted. only the second, only, the second, the lowest levels of investment only ahead of sub Saharan Africa.


Right. So, as I said, because they have a pretty, undeveloped, pretty low, level of industrial, industrialization, and also the development level of transmission infrastructure. So it cannot be like, you cannot build. Renewable energy capacity in a very short period, right? So, so it's a very, it's going to be a very long process.


And, according to, the conversation with people from, from ADB, right. They told me that basically there is no shortage of capital available, right? Both on debt or on the equity side. but they are more, likely to invest in, operational renewable projects. So why is that? I believe the issue is that, in Southeast Asia is around creating more and more bankable projects.


So there are a lot of projects maybe in the pipeline, but, when you talk about bankable projects, there are not many. So, maybe due to the reason of the land issue with maybe the regulation, maybe other. But, so there are a lot of like early stage projects here, but, for, really operate operating projects, not many, right?


So investors should, Should, be cautious about that. And, yeah. So another thing I think will be, I think it's, it's a, it's a common sense actually. So as I mentioned, the ASEAN, so there are 10 countries, they are hugely different on so many different levels. So, when investors consider investing, money in stocks.


ASEAN don't treat it as a whole. So you must do, to look into each country deeply and separately. So, so every country has a unique approach to their renewable energy sector. So you should also, use, different, ways to, to conduct analysis. And, currently, currently in Southeast Asia, VNM, no doubt has the largest operating capacity And, the Thailand and the Philippines is in second and third places. 


And in terms of perspective, perspective capacity, Philippines has 99 gigawatts and Vietnam has, 85 gigawatts. So after all, so that's, it's a still a big market and with great potential. so after all this, this sector is heavily relied on the support from the government and the policy. So I think investors should be more patient.


Or you can. maybe, or you can simply invest in our SunGrow project because our current business model is just turnkey project to eliminate the development and construction risks for investors. Right. Okay. And I think the last, last thing, I have separate, I have repeatedly mentioned is that It's about the infrastructure bottleneck.


I think that the electric power market development is a complicated and long term project. It needs balance, right? So you cannot simply just create maybe 10 gigawatts capacity in maybe two to three years without building any transmission grid. So as the old saying that like Rome wasn't a building one day.


So investing in power, electric power market is, is also a long term thing. So maybe they are maybe at current point, there are less chances in investing in renewable energy projects itself, but probably there are opportunities in investing in. power related infrastructure and the transmission line. So just, I hope that people can be more open to, different types of, chances or investment opportunities. 


You got it. Yeah. this was a really fantastic, discussion, Steve, to, you know, share your experiences in North America versus Asia and, and, and your, views of, on, The Asia Pacific region in general, because we mentioned Bangladesh as well. So once again, big, big thank you for your time, Steve. Thank you. 


Oh, thank you for having me today. 


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