Coal Based Thermal in Southeast Asian Countries

ASEAN—Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam—has emerged as the most important region for future growth in coal-fired power generation as both China and India are investing in renewable power and moving away from coal. This growth is a little iffy, as installation of new coal power capacity faces stiff resistance from environmentalists and the hoi polloi alike. But in a business-as-usual scenario, it will lead to a tremendous increase in pollution. Especially since the emission standards of important parameters are quite lax in most of these countries. Can ASEAN chart a new energy future that combines cleaner coal power and better regulation and monitoring with synergetic phasing-in of renewable energy? This scoping paper mulls over these questions.