Posted-on July 2021
We have seen enormous growth in Asia’s wind energy market in recent years. As noted in OffShoreWindBiz, the market is set to grow rapidly over the next decade. What's more, the rise of attractive government subsidies continues to draw in energy developers, further adding to the exponential market growth across the entire Asia-Pacific region.
Here we chat to Andrew Dodd – EarthStream’s Regional Director across the APAC – to find out more about the current state of the wind energy sector in Asia and what’s next for the space.
Wind Energy Generation Grows Across Asia
Although Asia’s wind energy industry is embryonic compared with its European counterparts, it is poised to see the strongest growth in terms of construction activity over the next five years.
The industry is poised for material growth across various regions, from Taiwan to Vietnam and beyond. Speaking to Andrew Dodd about the boom in activity, he notes:
"Taiwan is forecasting 10 and a half gigawatts of offshore installation in the next five years, along with just under 8 gigawatts in Japan, and just over 5 gigawatts in Vietnam. This is the equivalent of about 5 mid-sized nuclear power stations being built – in just five years – across the Northern Asian region: it’s huge."
What’s more, as primary energy demand grows across Asia alongside the digitalization and development of infrastructure, more government subsidies are being implemented to attract new renewable energy projects to the region.
Asia’s Wind Energy Hotspots
At EarthStream, we have witnessed a large pipeline of both on and offshore projects across the APAC region, particularly in Northern Asia. The hotspots in which we have seen the most growth in recent years include Taiwan, South Korea, Japan and Vietnam – alongside a growing onshore wind business across Australasia.
Andrew Dodd commented on the boom in industry activity:
"We seem to be riding a perfect storm for the wind energy sector across Asia and Australia. Presently, we are seeing multiple European as well as various independent developers alongside installation contractors gearing up for a big spike in activity."
Effect on Recruitment for Wind Energy Specialists
In line with growing consumer demand for clean energy and attractive government subsidies enticing developers to the APAC region, demand for engineering and technology candidates with wind-sector experience is flourishing.
Speaking to Andrew Dodd about the high demand for niche engineering and technology professionals, he notes:
"Demand for specialist talent is way outstripping supply and the gap will only widen in the near-term. It reminds me of the commodities price spike we saw in Asia in the early 2010s, where oil, gas and other metals and minerals surged in price, with a subsequent boom in project activity that followed.
This is the time you hear phrases such as ‘the war for the talent’, a problem only compounded given the current travel restrictions and quarantine requirements we face. Whilst it is extremely positive to see growth across the sector, this does mean the pressure to find skilled resource is going to be more intense: and it already is showing to be exactly that."
Skills in Demand
At EarthStream, we are also witnessing a growing demand for talent to support the fabrication of components for wind farm infrastructure. There are multiple yards across Asia which companies are already utilizing, and we are seeing a jump in activity in sites in nearby Indonesia and China, whilst South Korea and Taiwan are gearing up for activity associated with offshore wind – particularly around jacket fabrication, subsea cables, foundations and piling fabrication works.
So, what could this mean for wind-sector professionals within Asia or expats looking to move to Asia? Andrew Dodd notes:
"At EarthStream, we are expanding our renewables team to service Asia’s growing wind energy sector. Candidates with niche skillsets – such as those experienced with installation and commissioning of complex wind turbine generator infrastructure – are not readily available within Asia.
Simply put, the industry is too embryonic to tap into niche skillsets locally, particularly for offshore. We witnessed a similar pattern when the oil and gas industry moved into deep water in Asia in the early 2010s: there was very little to any skills in that area. So, we are again tapping into EarthStream’s extensive global expatriate network, bringing specialists from various parts of world to the region."
Get in touch with our Singapore-based APAC recruitment team to see how we can help you source niche engineering, technology, and commercial talent for your projects today.