Renewables the only way to go

(The Third Pole, 3 Jul 2019) The current move in many countries of South and South East Asia to expand coal-fired power generation will lead to a serious issue of stranded assets.

Countries in South and South East Asia will need to urgently consider how to reverse their current trend of expanding coal-fired generation capacity and how to implement policies to enable a fast decarbonisation of the electricity mix, phasing out coal for power generation by 2040, says global think tank Climate Analytics.

Both regions have vast renewable energy potential that is still largely untapped. Full decarbonisation of energy systems in countries across these regions would yield multiple benefits for sustainable development, in particular through increased energy security and access to affordable, clean and modern energy for all. In addition, the avoided air pollution damages and environmental degradation (including water use and land contamination), through switching from fossil fuel systems to renewable are substantial.

A new report by Climate Analytics, the first to apply the insights from the 2018 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Special Report on the 1.5˚C global warming limit to these regions, shows how Asia’s energy systems can transition to zero carbon.

In order to meet their pledges made for the 2015 Paris Agreement, governments in South and South East Asia will need to decarbonise their energy systems by 2050. This, says the think tank,  is possible with a rapid increase of renewable energy use, in particular in the power sector, and decarbonisation of end use sectors such as industry or transport, through electrification or direct use of renewable energy, as well as large demand reductions through increased efficiency and improved infrastructure across all end use sectors.

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The Third Pole, 3 Jul 2019: Renewables the only way to go