The gas-fired power sector is being squeezed in Asia as cheap, abundant coal and greater investment in renewables continue to impact, according to the International Energy Agency.

Forty per cent of the 400 GW in generation capacity to be added in Southeast Asia by 2040 will be coal-fired, the IEA says. That will raise coal’s share of the Southeast Asian power market to 50 per cent from 32 per cent, while gas declines to 26 per cent from 44 per cent.
“Electricity is increasing its share in total energy consumption and coal is increasing its share in power generation,” Laszlo Varro (right), head of the gas, coal and power markets division for the IEA told Reuters.

“We’re absolutely sure India’s coal demand will continue to grow,” he added.

Helge Lund, chief executive of LNG major BG Group, told the news agency a radical review of how the gas industry is run was needed as costs have doubled while revenues are being eroded.

India continues to demonstrate the greatest growth in coal use, where it meets 45 per cent of total energy demand, compared with just over 20 per cent each for petroleum products and biomass/waste.

Meanwhile gas share of the market continues to be eroded by renewables such as solar and wind, as the technologies practitioners continue to innovate the costs down.

China and India have accelerated investment in renewables with those technologies attractive as an offset to the carbon emissions and pollution associated with coal, and also because they help reduce import bills for expensive fossil fuels.