ASEAN’s Energy Equation indicates the way forward for Southeast Asia

24th May 2017

The World Coal Association (WCA), in collaboration with the ASEAN Centre for Energy (ACE), published last week the report “ASEAN’s Energy Equation”. The report is the first comprehensive cost-benefit analysis of climate and energy policies and sustainable development opportunities that cleaner coal technologies provide to a region that is looking to coal to fuel its growing economy.

Given that energy policy and international climate action are inextricably linked, the report considers the emission reduction benefits of HELE deployment in ASEAN compared to renewable deployment in advanced markets. ASEAN’s Energy Equation found that investing in low emissions coal plants in Southeast Asia would reduce more emissions than the transition to renewables in Western Europe.

High efficiency coal is – and will continue to be – the most affordable option to meet electricity demand growth for many emerging economies, while reducing emissions at the same time. 

The report suggests that increasing investment to encourage deployment of low emissions coal would reduce emissions equivalent to 1.3 billion tonnes in the next 20 years. 

This single action could accelerate the achievement of global climate objectives without sacrificing economic and social development needs.

Developing and emerging economies such as the ASEAN, cannot meet their energy needs, tackle energy poverty, and reduce global emissions without utilising all energy options and all low emission technologies. 

The delivery of affordable, reliable and sustainable electricity plays a central role in improving living standards and unlocking economic potential. The ASEAN region has a population of more than 629 million people and continues to experience high economic growth, demographic changes and industrial development.

So it is important to inject realism into the debate on how to reduce emissions across Asia. There is no question that cleaner coal technologies are the lowest cost option among all available low-carbon technologies in ASEAN - a region that is rapidly urbanising and industrialising.

This reality means that it is only logical that the rapidly industrialising and urbanising economies of Asia that are choosing to use coal do so with the lowest emissions technologies possible.

To download a copy of the report, visit ASEAN’s Energy Equation