The Blue Circle, Vestas to expand wind energy in Southeast Asia

The Singapore-based renewables firm wants to bring in the turbine maker’s technology to fan wind development in areas with low wind speed.

Singapore’s renewable energy developer The Blue Circle has signed a five-year agreement with Denmark’s Vestas Wind Systems to help the firm build its planned 688 megawatt (MW) wind projects in Southeast Asia.

The deal, signed last month, will initially focus on projects in Thailand, but will also explore opportunities in Vietnam and Indonesia in the future, The Blue Circle said in a statement.

Olivier Duguet, chair and chief executive of the firm, said the collaboration with Vestas will bring in the latest onshore turbine technology for low wind speed sites in the region.

“This agreement shows Vestas’ commitment to help make wind power happen in Southeast Asia following the rest of the world’s six-fold increase in wind installed capacity during the last 10 years,” he noted.

Vestas is the world’s largest wind turbine maker and installer, having installed a cumulative capacity of more than 58 Gigawatts worldwide.

Southeast Asia has only about 0.5 GW of wind power capacity at the end of 2014, The Blue Circle noted, citing the Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN21) report this year. That is very far behind China, which has 92 GW of capacity, and India, which has 20 GW, it added.

However, The Blue Circle sees positive developments in the region, with new regulations and tariffs for wind and other renewables being issued in countries like Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam.

The cut in fossil fuel subsidies at the beginning of the year by Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand is also “going in the right direction and adding to the potential positive momentum behind renewable power”, the firm explained.

In August this year, the firm partnered with French renewable power plant developer EREN RE to build wind power projects in Thailand.

With the partnership it has built with industry leaders such as clean energy financing firm Armstrong Asset Management as well as EREN RE and Vestas, Duguet said The Blue Circle will have a strong network to successfully expand wind energy in the region.

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