Asia requires innovation, cleaner options in energy use – ADB

09 April 2013 07:47  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia will need to change the way it consumes energy and invest in cleaner options to avoid devastating environmental impacts to the region in the future, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) said on Tuesday.

The region’s oil consumption is projected to double and natural gas consumption will triple by 2035 if Asia “merely expands energy access without fundamentally changing the way it consumes”, ADB said in its Asian Development Outlook 2013 report.

“Asia could be consuming more than half the world’s energy supply by 2035 and without radical changes, carbon dioxide emissions will double,” ADB chief economist Changyong Rhee said.

With only 9% of proven global oil reserves found in the region, Asia is currently on track to nearly triple its oil imports by 2035, rendering it significantly “more vulnerable to external supply shocks”, according to ADB.

“Asia must both contain rising demand and explore cleaner energy options, which will require creativity and resolve, with policymakers having to grapple with politically difficult issues like fuel subsidies and regional energy market integration,” Rhee said.

According to the ADB, Asia has great potential in shale gas, with China having the world’s largest reserves of the natural resource.

However, technical uncertainties such as leakage and water contamination must be addressed, ADB added. “Asia must find the political will and innovation to scrap outdated policies and recalibrate its energy mix.”

By: Nurluqman Suratman

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