Adopting modern coal technologies in ASEAN countries has global benefits

29th Jun 2017

ASEAN Energy Insights

In the fourth of our series of ‘ASEAN Energy Insights’, Liam McHugh, WCA Policy Manager, reviews the emission reduction benefits of high efficiency low emission (HELE) coal deployment in ASEAN compared to renewable deployment in advanced markets

ASEAN's Energy Equation considers a hypothetical scenario in which policy makers had $1 billion to spend with the objective of producing the highest levels of electricity with the lowest emissions profile. The graph below plots several potential approaches:

  • In the first scenario, the investment could be directed to continue the transition in Europe from gas (CCGT – baseline) to renewables. This would result in moderate reduction in emissions, although much lower levels of electricity generation.
  • Secondly, the investment could fund a transition away from subcritical coal (SubC – baseline) to wind and solar deployment in ASEAN. This too is impractical given the much lower levels of electricity generated.
  • In the final scenario, for the same level of expenditure, investment in HELE would achieve a similar level of CO2 emissions reduction to the deployment of renewables in Europe, while generating up to three times more electricity.

Deployment of HELE technology in coal markets is one of the most efficient strategies to limit global emissions of CO2. Despite this, however, HELE does not benefit from the same profile as other mitigation technologies, such as wind and solar. Providing a level playing field for all mitigation technologies will ensure the climate and energy debate is framed to consider the full value and costs of electricity generation.

ASEAN’s Energy Equation, co-authored by the World Coal Association (WCA) and the ASEAN Centre for Energy (ACE) is available to download here.