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Asia’s renewable investment needs


Nov 1, 2016

Between 2014 and 2035, major Asian economies, including China, India and Japan would require investment up to the tune of US$7 trillion to meet the stated ambition to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius. Further, an investment of US$ 4.6 trillion is required into renewable energy, as per the IEA’s World Energy Outlook, 2016.

Country wise, China remains the largest primary energy consumer, accounted for 57% of total primary energy consumed (5,241 Mtoe) by Asian countries in 2015, as per the BP statistical review of World Energy, 2016. China’s share of electricity consumption is 3014 Mtoe, followed by India and Japan with 699 and 448 Mtoe. China and India are also in the spotlight regarding their coal consumption as both obtain more than half of their primary energy from coal.

China has redoubled pledges to lower carbon dioxide emissions per unit of gross domestic product by between 60% and 65% of 2005 levels by 2030, as per the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions, UNFCCC. The Philippines has pledged to reduce carbon dioxide emissions per unit of gross domestic product by 70%. Taiwan, South Korea and Singapore have also pledged to lower CO2 emissions by 50%, 37% and 36% respectively. India and Thailand are seeking to reduce it by 33-35% and 20% each.

China provides one specific target around this of increasing non-fossil fuels to 20% of primary energy. Electric power supply is the crucial factor within primary energy. India has a 2030 target of 40% of power from non-fossil fuel sources.

Among renewables, hydro power dominates the renewable energy mix with a 75% share of electricity consumption across the markets. Wind, solar and geothermal powers have a low consumption rate of just 13%, 5% and 7% respectively, as per the BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2016.

Australia and India have the highest proportions of wind while South Korea, Japan and Thailand have the highest proportions of solar. In China, hydropower is the predominant system in terms of capacity compared to wind. 

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