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The Asia Pacific region is poised to invest as much as $3.3 trillion in power generation over the next 10 years, half of which in solar and wind power, as India and China lead the growth in power demand and investments, Wood Mackenzie said in an analysis on Wednesday.
Of the expected investment in power generation, a total of 49% is set to go to wind and solar power and another 12% to energy storage, according to the energy consultancy.
India and China, the two largest markets, are looking to boost generation capacity as power demand soars, and are betting on cheaper coal and renewables technologies, said Alex Whitworth, Head of Asia Pacific Power & Renewables Research at Wood Mackenzie.
“As leaders India and China face rapidly growing power demand, each country continues to invest in a mixture of technologies, with emphasis on the cheaper options of coal and renewables,” Whitworth said during a keynote speech at Renewable Energy India Expo 2023.
Overall, the Asia Pacific region is set to add 1,840 gigawatts (GW) of new power capacity in the next five years, more than the rest of the world combined, per WoodMac’s forecasts.
“India and China, are at the forefront of renewables growth, but are also leading the world in coal power deployments,” Whitworth noted.
Despite some of the world’s lowest-cost renewables in India and China, the two countries continue to add coal-powered capacity to support demand growth.
During the first half of 2023 alone, China approved more than 50 GW of new coal power, Greenpeace said in a report last month. That’s more than it did in all of 2021, the environmental campaign group added.
In India, coal still generates around 70% of the country’s electricity.
“Despite an aspirational 2070 carbon neutral target, India is still investing heavily in new coal power to support growth, with a pipeline of over 50 GW of projects planned and under construction,” Wood Mackenzie said.
By Michael Kern for Oilprice.com
Michael Kern is a newswriter and editor at Safehaven.com and Oilprice.com,