Powering Asia Pacific’s Energy Transition

Energy transition

Clive Turton
President and CEO of Asia Pacific at Vestas
Published on 23th of September2019

I sat down for a coffee yesterday with a good friend of mine who works in oil and gas. Once we were done with world politics, the Australian rugby team and my vacation photos, we naturally ended up discussing the global energy transition. 

Five years ago, when we had this conversation Brian would dismiss renewable energy as just a niche thing that was never really going to move the needle. The change of attitude of the fossil fuels industry is certainly an indication of how successful we have become. Today he talks about how fossil fuels are a partner to renewable energy. 

“Being a partner to renewables seems a nice way to be relevant in the new energy environment, but are fossil fuels really partners to renewable energy? Isn’t the future one where fossil fuels are replaced with renewable energy?” I say. 

And he can’t help but ask: “But do you really think that we will rely solely on renewable energy one day?” I get asked this question all the time; by government officials, by people who work in the fossil fuels industry, and by smart-alecs at dinner parties. 

It’s one of my favourite questions, because the answer is simple. “Of course”. Oil and gas are limited resources – the sun and the wind, and the rain, are not (at least not on any sensible timeline). It might not be in ten years, maybe not even in 100 years, but some point this planet is going to need to survive without burning any fossilised plants and animals.  

That is a bit too easy though. The more interesting answer is “Why would anyone choose fossil fuels over renewables anymore?” There was once a price and reliability benefit that was hard to ignore, but those days are long gone. The lowest cost of new power on most grids is wind and solar, and the advances in design along with grid technology, interconnections and storage has meant the reliability argument is less and less persuasive. Plus there’s that little issue of not polluting the environment and contributing to climate change. 

So whatever Brian and his buddies in the oil and gas industry are hoping, renewables are replacing fossil fuels quicker than any predictions. Moving away from fossil fuels is high on the global agenda and crucial to meeting the world’s carbon-reduction goals. 

And that’s lucky for me and everyone else that works at Vestas. 

The Asia-Pacific region is at the beginning of the journey towards cost-competitive renewable power. And we have a lot of growth ahead of us. 

By 2040 APAC markets will account for two-thirds of global power demand growth. Vestas has always been a leading player within the region and now we’re uniquely positioned to capitalize on this growth and further expand our leadership as a renewable solutions innovator. 

With this in mind, the whole Vestas Asia Pacific team recently sat down to update our own strategy to fit with the growth in this market. We have set ourselves specific goals appropriate to the world’s leading renewable energy company, and as a trusted advisor to our customers and the many stakeholders in the renewable energy industry.

As our business in the region grows, we will continue to strengthen relationships with key customers, provide innovative and advanced energy solutions, and offer market leading products suited to the Asia Pacific region.

I’m looking forward to working with all of my colleagues in Asia Pacific and around the world towards our goal and to the continued collaboration with all of our partners in the global energy transition. And I’m pretty happy that I’m working for Vestas and the renewable energy industry - like the wind turbine says to the solar panel “I’m a big fan”.