Challenges and Implications of Coal Phase-down to the ASEAN Energy Landscape
31 January 2022
ASEAN region homes the youngest coal power plants in the world. The average plant age of the ASEAN coal fleet is 11.8 years. Partial or complete shutdown will give financial challenge to the plant owners/investors and the utility companies who signed construction and operation contracts. The energy security and reliability of the power system would be a huge challenge for the countries and the region.
Shutting a large portion of coal power generation down would require large-scale deployment of renewables to be able to supply the energy that is not served by putting coal plants offline. Establishment of enabling policies and step-by-step phase mechanism that allows stable grid amid high renewable energy penetration is crucial.
There are several pathways that could be taken aside from retiring coal plants such as deployment of biomass co-firing, carbon capture utilization and storage (CCUS), and high-efficiency low emissions (HELE) technologies, and therefore exploring them in parallel should be an alternate solution to secure the power supply in the transition era.