What are people talking about
Orsted received Taiwan’s EIA approval for Xu Feng 2 & 3 while postponing the commissioning of Changhua 1 & 2 due to COVID-19-caused delays.
COP submitted proposals for the Midwest Offshore Wind Farm, a 3GW project off the coast of Western Australia; this follows its earlier proposal for Leeuwin OFW also in Western Australia.
Equinor and PetroVietnam initiated discussions to collaborate on offshore wind, hydrogen, ammonia, and carbon capture & storage projects.
EDF Renewables and Taiya Renewable Energy partner to bid in Taiwan’s next round of offshore wind auctions.
AES Corp is said to intend to develop a 4GW USD $13B offshore wind farm in Vietnam.
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Is support for renewable energy waning?
As inflation soars and people feel the pinch in their pocketbooks, many wonder if the extra costs for the renewable energy transition are worthwhile or if the transition can be delayed until a time when the global economy stabilizes. In places like South Korea and the United States, we are seeing a shift in sentiment at the highest levels of government.
In case you were not aware, earlier this year, South Korea elected a president who will include nuclear in his definition of renewable energy meaning a portion of South Korea’s quota for transitioning to renewable energy will be satisfied with existing plants versus new development of technologies such as wind and solar.
In the US, in July, the Supreme Court ruled to limit the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ability to limit CO2 emissions from power plants without approval from Congress. President Joe Biden had hoped to use the agency to shut down coal-fired power plants across all US states even though the US Congress had previously rejected the EPA’s proposals to limit carbon emissions in the past.
Even in ASEAN, the fast uptake of renewables is now facing backlash as environmental groups question the benefits of clearing forest and agricultural land as well as the changes to biodiversity for the sake of installing solar and wind.
HR Insights in the region
Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower (MoM) has released additional eligibility criteria for new Employment Pass (EP) holders that will kick in on September 1st, 2022. These are separate and in addition to the previously announced changes that will occur from September 1st, 2023 under the new COMPASS framework (Complementarity Assessment Framework).
From today, September 1st, 2022, new applications for EP holders will not be approved unless they meet a higher qualifying salary threshold. While the MoM website does not give specific numbers, it says that the EP qualifying salary “will be benchmarked to the top 1/3 of local PMET salaries by age” with PMET referring to professionals, managerial executives, and technical occupations. Typically, this is further broken down into SSOC groups (Singapore Standard Occupation Classification) such as construction, manufacturing, financial services, and other groups.
The same criteria will apply against EP renewals from September 1st, 2023 onward.
Meanwhile, in Malaysia, Malaysian Human Resources Minister, M Saravanan seems to be in conversations with the Upper House and pushing for the official work week will be reduced from 48 hours to 45 hours from September 1st, 2023. While this is great news for workers, it has left business leaders scrambling to figure out scheduling and costs with overtime wages kicking in sooner.
According to Channel News Asia, the Minister said there will be additional announcements regarding days off, flexible working, and enforcement of the new working hours in the coming days.
We always look forward to keeping in touch and exchanging ideas, insights, and opinions. If you are a company considering hiring, we welcome the opportunity to present our services and capabilities. If you are a candidate, please check our jobs page or reach out to us to discuss your background, skills, and future aspirations.
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