• 280 Total investment leveraged (USD million)
  • 26 Total projects which mobilised finance
  • 64 Clean energy capacity added (MW)
  • 119 Projects provided PFAN support
  • 100 000 Potential CO2eq reduced per annum (tonnes)
Total projects supported by technology 2016-2023
    Total number of projects supported by country 2016-2023

    Market developments 2016-2023

    In Southeast Asia, there is a pressing need to ramp up investment in the energy sector while prioritising cleaner technologies, especially as the subregion is often referred to as one of the most vulnerable to climate change in Asia.[1]

    Southeast Asia’s economic development has traditionally relied heavily on fossil fuels, particularly coal-fired power plants, which currently contribute to over 40% of the region’s power generation. Despite the region’s abundant renewable energy resources, investment in renewable power has been inconsistent, and its deployment has yet to fully utilise the region’s potential.[2]

    From 2016 to 2020, the region saw an average yearly investment of approximately USD 70 billion in energy, with about 40% directed towards cleaner options like solar PV, wind and grids.[3] Over the past five years, annual capital expenditures in solar PV and wind power have averaged around USD 10 billion, which is relatively low compared to global standards and even falls short of investment levels seen in sub-Saharan Africa. Notably, most of these investments have been concentrated in Vietnam alone.[4] Furthermore, private sector participation in the region’s renewable energy sector remains limited and even more so for climate adaptation.



    To drive down costs and make clean energy more accessible, the International Energy Agency suggests the region must improve its regulatory and financing frameworks.[5] Achieving this requires bolstering clean energy policies and regulations and tackling various financial barriers head-on – this is where PFAN has been playing a pivotal role over the past decade, supporting over 100 clean energy and climate projects, increasingly focussing also on those companies and projects which build resilience in response to climate adaptation, including for example in sectors such as circular economy, recycling, alternative proteins, agricultural value chains, cooling and green buildings.


    PFAN’s activities

    To tackle the challenges of climate change, the region has seen a rise in electric mobility, with electric vehicle sales growing by 35% year over year in 2022, led by countries such as Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore.[6] This trend has also been strong in Vietnam, exemplified through several PFAN-supported clean transport projects in the country mobilising investment, including QIQ Vietnam, Selex Motors, and most recently, Wiibike Vietnam, based in Hanoi, which raised financing at the start of 2023. This finance, raised to support production expansion in response to increasing demand, exemplifies the continued drive for electric vehicles in the region against the expectation that electric 2-wheelers will serve over 2 million customer users by 2030.

    Investments in solar and wind energy are also increasing, particularly in Vietnam and Thailand, driving down the cost of renewable energy and creating numerous opportunities for businesses in the sector. Green hydrogen projects are gaining momentum, with significant investments from companies like Indonesia’s Pertamina, indicating a substantial shift towards cleaner energy sources.[7]

    Additionally, alternative protein sources, including the black soldier fly and other insects, are gaining traction for animal feed and human consumption, supported by investments in start-up businesses throughout the region. For example, PFAN supported KBP Incorporation in Thailand, which promotes organic farming and plant-based protein food processing, and similar projects such as Sustainable Planet in Cambodia and Entobel in Vietnam, which aims to have the largest factory of insect proteins worldwide. This shows the drive of the region to tackle climate change and contribute to economic growth through clean energy initiatives.

    As the potential and interest in renewable energy and climate adaptation projects in Southeast Asia grows, there is an increased need for PFAN to significantly contribute to its energy transition, e.g. implementing new strategies through tailored business coaching, facilitating early-stage equity investment, matchmaking services and technical assistance for investment funds, supporting green hydrogen projects and networking for decarbonisation initiatives.

    Collaboration and event highlights

    Creating strong partnerships and organising events are a key part of PFAN activities in Southeast Asia. Some highlights include:

    • Since 2017, PFAN has been involved with the Asia Clean Energy Forum (ACEF) and the Asia Clean Energy Summit (ACES). In 2018, we partnered with the Sustainable Energy Association of Singapore (SEAS)’s Sustainable Energy Start-Up Network (SESUN) to launch the PowerACE Start-up Competition Initiative, which has taken place at both ACEF and ACES every year since, even during Covid as a virtual event. The competition provides a platform for early-stage entrepreneurs to pitch their ideas and innovations with advisory support from PFAN experts.
    • PFAN also held a Gender Workshop at ACEF to highlight the experiences of women clean energy entrepreneurs in South and Southeast Asia. This led to the organisation of a more extensive session with the Asian Development Bank, including discussions around the macro environment and gender lens investment, enhancing capacity building within the space.
    • In 2022, PFAN supported the Malaysian regional bank CIMB to host a pitch competition for SMEs in clean tech, clean energy and sustainability. The ESG-SME Pitch Challenge supported promising SMEs to pitch their projects to a panel of CIMB bankers and outside experts. PFAN helped CIMB identify SMEs with sustainability-focused business models or operations across the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to compete in the event and helped SMEs prepare their investor pitch.

    Capacity building and network creation

    Since 2016, PFAN has also significantly invested in capacity building and training to help the network members and advisors better adapt to changing project, market and investor needs. In this connection, the combined PFAN Asian networks organised regular investor roundtables, each convening 20 investors from Southeast Asia and South Asia to share their experiences, lessons learned and views on market direction and opportunities. More than 30 PFAN advisors and network partners joined each roundtable. Furthermore, we have conducted several virtual Advisor workshops to transfer knowledge and learnings from experiences of working with project developers and entrepreneurs within the network.

    As funding related to the energy transition increases in the region to help foster engagement with the private sector and accelerate the pace of implementation and scale-up of clean energy and climate-friendly technologies and business models, there continues to be a strong requirement for project origination and preparation and investment facilitation services in the region, particularly for small and medium enterprises/projects. PFAN has created a unique set of Southeast Asia-based resources that are well-positioned to take on this role in the future.

    These include strong, active networks across seven Southeast Asian countries (Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam), 39 network and investment partners active in the region, and a total of 29 active advisors working together to help increase the number of successful businesses in clean energy and climate adaptation.

    Peter DuPont Regional Coordinator, Southeast Asia

    Peter du Pont is Co-Founder and Co-CEO of an Asia-based international consultancy, Asia Clean Energy Partners, which provides services and solutions for clients in the development and business sectors. He is based in Bangkok and has more than 30 years’ experience developing sustainable energy and climate programs in the U.S. and Asia. Peter specialises in technical, policy, and market assessments, knowledge-sharing and development and stakeholder engagement. He and his firm contribute to the clean energy ecosystem in the region through their assignments for development clients such as the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the Asian Development Bank (ADB), United Nations agencies, the World Bank, the German development agency GIZ and philanthropies. Peter helped to initiate PFAN in Asia in 2009, and he has worked with the Asian Development Bank since 2007 to organize its annual flagship event, the Asia Clean Energy Forum.

    Peter DuPont shares insights into PFAN’s impact in Southeast Asia



    Regional developments

    Today, the climate tech sector has emerged as a standout performer despite an overall decrease in equity deals in 2023. During the third quarter of last year, the region witnessed a remarkable surge in climate tech investments, with 16 deals recorded, marking the highest volume in at least five years. The total deal value reached USD 140 million, reaching a four-quarter high, primarily fuelled by investments in renewable energy solutions and waste management.[8] This positive trend aligns with a growing acknowledgement of Southeast Asia’s potential to become a global hub for renewable energy manufacturing. The region’s strong foundation in manufacturing could translate into revenue potentials ranging from USD 160 billion to USD 200 billion by 2030, driven significantly by low-carbon mobility and clean power.[9]

    The impact of climate change, particularly in countries like the Philippines, has also prompted increased investments in climate resilience and adaptation. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has conducted a comprehensive study on the economics of climate change in Southeast Asia, emphasising the need for a holistic approach to address impacts and vulnerabilities – stating that if no action is taken in Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam, there could be a loss equivalent to 6.7% of GDP annually by 2100.[10] Furthermore, a surge in demand for renewable energy is evident, supported by falling prices and more favourable economics of renewable energy technologies. ASEAN’s target of achieving 23% renewable energy by 2025 has led to the establishment of regulations and incentives to encourage the use of renewable energy in the region.[11]

    PFAN’s achievements

    In 2023, PFAN’s special focus in Southeast Asia was on the Philippines, where we cooperated with the Cold Chain Innovation Hub under the UNIDO-GEF project ”Global partnership for improving the food cold chain in the Philippines”, which aims to identify, develop and stimulate the application of low-carbon, energy-efficient refrigeration innovation technologies and business practices for use throughout the food cold chain while increasing food safety and security. PFAN’s role in this project has been to support several businesses in the cold chain sector in building their capacity and understanding of the funding mechanisms available and helping them develop their business plans and strategic outreach to investors.

    Through the project, PFAN partnered with local banks to conduct capacity-building initiatives which involved educating companies on the different available financing instruments. The capacity-building events also helped PFAN to identify local small and medium enterprises requiring PFAN support, two of which are looking to close a deal in early 2024.

    PFAN also conducted hands-on activities with a business plan writing assistance workshop, demonstrating tailored country-specific assistance which was seen through outstanding feedback from the attendees. Feedback was highly positive, with one participant stating, “This session helped me understand business planning in a more practical and organised way. Even though I graduated in Business Administration, these (skills) were not taught to us”.

    Another major highlight was the 6th iPitch event at the Asia Clean Energy Summit (ACES) on 25 October. PFAN collaborated with the Sustainable Energy Association of Singapore (SEAS) and Enterprise Singapore for the event, where twelve selected start-ups engaged in a ‘speed dating’ pitching format with PFAN mentoring to ensure their best presentations. These start-ups then presented their innovative solutions to a distinguished jury, solidifying PFAN’s commitment to advancing sustainable energy initiatives in the region. Furthermore, these strategic partnerships exemplify PFAN’s commitment to fostering a collaborative ecosystem and providing comprehensive support for sustainable energy projects across the diverse landscape of Southeast Asia.

    The region also saw a notable finance mobilisation in Indonesia with PT Qomunitas Petani Satu, a climate adaptation business based in Solo, Central Java, Indonesia, raising USD 392,068 USD debt; the company focuses on rice cultivation through a partnership programme with farmers to enhance productivity and empower agricultural communities. The project has significantly contributed to gender equality as the company creates job opportunities for women throughout various stages, including planting, harvesting and trading, and incorporates women employees in all aspects of the business – including in the management team, where they have a central role as decision-makers in developing the business – and commits to continuing these efforts.

    Furthermore, as women represent about 24% of farmers in Indonesia, the project implementor supports women’s activities in rice production by providing technical assistance, facilitation, and agricultural tools. Additionally, the project extends indirect benefits, such as improving women’s health and the environment through the consumption of organic rice, reduced use of chemical fertilisers and contributions to greenhouse gas reduction. This success exemplifies PFAN’s commitment to supporting impactful climate adaptation projects, fostering sustainable agricultural practices, and contributing to gender equity.

    Indonesia also remains a core focus for the upcoming year, when PFAN will support several projects in the country with intensified investment facilitation support and the development of Gender Action Plans. Entrepreneurs and Advisors will be invited to an Investor Forum in Jakarta in May 2024 to gain in-person training on delivering an investor pitch to selected investors. Among the featured projects is a seaweed cultivation farm by Seatech Energy, which PFAN is currently advising to attract investment for their innovative business idea.

    Case Study

    SeaTech Energy

    • Location Indonesia
    • Sector and Technology Cold Storage / Adaptation
    Find out more

    ”There are a lot of new applications in various stages of commercial development that will lead to new demand for seaweed”.

    Jeroen Langelaan, Director, Seatech Energy