Guest MSEAGA by David Middleton
Making Southeast Asia Great Again…
‘Coal is still king’ in Southeast Asia even as countries work toward cleaner energy
PUBLISHED MON, SEP 30 2019
• Not only will coal continue to be the dominant fuel source in power generation in Southeast Asia, its use will grow and peak in 2027 before slowing, according to a Wood Mackenzie study.
• The Indonesian government has targeted generating 23% of electricity from renewable sources by 2025 — almost double the 12% now, but it will be “difficult to achieve because capacity expansion plans are still dominated by coal,” Moody’s analysts say.
• Global coal demand grew for a second straight year to reach 0.7% in 2018, International Energy Agency data shows.
“The narrative surrounding coal has been pessimistic across the world. This will result in the gradual slowdown of new coal-fired capacity in Southeast Asia,” said Jacqueline Tao, research associate at Wood Mackenzie, a commodity consultancy.
“However, the reality of rising power demand and affordability issues in the region mean that we will only start to see coal’s declining power post-2030,” Tao said on Sept. 25 when the consultancy released a new report.
“Coal is still king in Southeast Asia’s power market,” according to Wood Mackenzie.
Not only will coal continue to be the dominant fuel source in power generation in Southeast Asia, its use will grow and peak in 2027 before slowing, the Wood Mackenzie study found. By 2040, coal will account for 36% of Southeast Asia’s energy mix for power generation, according to the consultancy.
Problems with renewable energy in Southeast Asia
The expected growth in renewable energy will come even though such energy is “less cost competitive in the region compared to the rest of the world, and (faces) challenges such as land acquisition and intermittency issues,” Tao added.
China and Japan are big investors in coal power
Globally, major coal user China is set to see the country’s use fall 3% by 2023, the IEA noted in its December report.
But even as China seeks to cut politically sensitive air pollution at home, the country has been investing massively in coal projects outside its shores, notably in places linked to the Belt and Road Initiative.
East Asian economic powerhouses Japan and South Korea are also pumping money into the fossil fuel.
Greta needs drive her new Tesla to Asia and pester the folks who are actually destroying her future (as if her parents already haven’t)…
According to the US EIA’s IEO 2019…
—with long-term growth expected in India and non-OECD Asia
•Worldwide coal production holds steady at about 8 billion short tons, or 160 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu), per year through 2040. Increased coal use in India and other Asian countries that are not part of the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) helps drive consumption to more than 9 billion short tons (175 quadrillion Btu) by 2050.
•In the Reference case, India increases its annual coal production by 2.7% per year from 850 million short tons in 2018 to 2 billion short tons by 2050 to help meet growing domestic demand. India’s coal consumption grows by an average of 3.1% per year, from 1.1 billion short tons (17 quadrillion Btu) in 2018 to 2.9 billion short tons (46 quadrillion Btu) in 2050.
•China remains the largest producer and the largest user of coal, consuming about 3.5 billion short tons (74 quadrillion Btu) in 2050 after peaking at 4.7 billion short tons (nearly 95 quadrillion Btu) in 2013.
•In OECD countries, coal consumption decreases by 2.5% per year from 2018 to 2025, before remaining relatively constant throughout the remainder of the projection period.
—and Australia and Indonesia remain the largest exporters
•World coal trade is projected to grow from 2018 to 2050 at an average rate of 1.4% per year, totaling 2.2 billion short tons by 2050.
•Increasing coal demand in the Asian economies is driving growth in coal trade. India coal imports grow by 4.1% per year, China coal imports remain relatively constant, and the remaining countries in non-OECD Asia increase imports by 1.8% per year.
•Metallurgical coal trade increases gradually as industrial consumption shifts to India and other countries that have limited or no metallurgical coal production.
•In contrast to Asia, coal imports to the Americas—largely the United States and the other non-OECD America region – grow slowly through 2050.
•The Australia and New Zealand region continues to be the world’s top coal exporter, followed by other non-OECD Asia, which is predominantly accounted for as Indonesia. By 2050, Australia accounts for 33% of global coal exports, and other non-OECD Asia accounts for nearly 35% of global coal exports.