Southeast Asia’s response to the Covid‑19 outbreak has curtailed electricity use and industrial production, pushing down coal consumption even further this year, according to the latest report from a non-governmental organisation which monitors worldwide fossil fuel infrastructure.
Even before Covid-19, new coal plant construction was already slowing in the region, which is home to three of the world’s 10 largest coal pipelines. But the pandemic further accelerated the region’s transition away from the fossil fuel as it caused delays in coal plant construction, revealed a study released on Monday (3 August) by Global Energy Monitor (GEM).
Only one gigawatt (GW) of coal power was newly proposed and 0.8GW started construction in the first half of 2020. This is 70 per cent lower than the average 2.9GW of new proposals and 2.7GW of new construction every six months in the region since 2015, said the study’s lead author Christine Shearer.
Hannah Alcoseba Fernandez