It is estimated that 97% of the projected increase in CO2 emissions will come from non-OECD countries, mainly China and India. According to Frost & Sullivan's Asia Pacific Director of Environmental & Building Technologies Practice Sapan Agarwal, this is in correlation with the growth in global energy demand which is to increase by over 50% from now to 2030 while electricity demand rises by 60%. Over 70% of this increase will come from developing countries led by China and India.
He continues, "Moreover, with energy demand to exceed supply of fossil fuels, energy from fossil fuels will become more expensive. With the depletion of fossil fuels, rising energy costs and environmental degradation, there is a need for a cleaner alternative energy source and more efficient energy management control."
With various governments implementing national or regional initiatives and programs to encourage energy conservation activities, the 'green' trend is taking off in a big way in the Asia Pacific.
In China, a national climate change program was implemented in 2007 with aims to promote technology advancement and improve energy efficiency, strengthen laws, policies and measures relevant to addressing climate change as well as strengthen education, training and public awareness on climate change. China has also allocated 350 billion Yuan in stimulus packages towards environmental and climate related industries.
Likewise, Japan's 'Cool Earth' program is an innovative technology program which aims to develop and promote 21 different energy efficient technologies to achieve the national target of reduction of greenhouse gases by 60-80% of its current level by 2050.
"Japan aims to reduce its greenhouse gases by improving efficiency through innovative technologies in intelligent transport systems, efficient housing and buildings, as well as fuel cells. Japan is also backing the use of innovative PV power for lower carbonization," says Sapan.
The governments' endeavors offer tremendous opportunities to technologists, especially those in the green and energy efficiency space in the heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC), building automation systems (BAS), and lighting systems markets.
The building technology market has been evolving over the years and is moving from Building Control to Building Automation to Building Performance and now Smart Buildings.
"As energy efficiency is inherently linked to cost savings, we are seeing movement towards 'Green' and 'Intergrated' buildings. Smart buildings are becoming a reality as high-tech cities are emerging in China, Vietnam and India," Sapan adds.
In terms of industry specifics, control systems for HVAC and refrigeration will remain a hot commodity in Southeast Asia. The market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.5% from 2010 – 2012.
"With intense competition in the control systems for HVAC and refrigeration market, it is possible that more M&A's will take place. Energy saving devices are also increasingly sought after," says Sapan.
He continues, "Traditional lighting systems, on the other hand, may suffer a setback. However, the trend is heading towards energy saving lighting controls and technologies where many prospects are coming from retrofit contracts and replacements. Frost & Sullivan estimates the lighting market to grow at a CAGR of 2% from 2010 to 2012."
Still, the industry will face challenges as most countries are still recovering from the global economic slowdown and green technologies have high costs. The lack of consistent green policies is also a restraint for the industry.
"Industry players should capitalize on global markets while preparing for increasing environmental challenges. They should invest, produce, and operate 'green' in a way that makes financial sense, not just for the sake of being 'green' – they have to be able to separate the 'hype' from the opportunities," says Sapan.
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