March 2022
Despite the global focus on phasing down unabated coal, thermal coal remains a reliable and abundant source of energy for Southeast and South Asian countries.
Many developing nations in the region continue to be tied to coal for electric power and industrial output. While thermal coal use has come under severe scrutiny over its highly polluting nature, the industry has continued investing in new coal-fired generation plants. The global capacity of coal power plants under construction reached 176.9GW in 2021. Additionally, a further 68GW has already been permitted.   This increased coal power generation capacity is expected to come principally from Asia, with the developed world relying on transitional and renewable sources of energy to supply its rising electricity demand. Although China accounts for most of Asia’s participation in the demand market, countries such as India, Vietnam and Indonesia will also significantly increase its coal-fired power. AME expects global coal generated electricity to peak by 2030 with 12,170 bn kWh, rising from 11,044bn kWh in 2021, corresponding with Asia’s peak.