World Bank urges East Asia to invest $180 billion a year in clean energy

World Bank urges East Asia to invest $180 billion a year in clean energy

Apr 20, 2010 - The Associated Press

East Asia needs new investment of $180 billion a year in clean energy technology to stabilize its greenhouse gas emissions from 2025, the World Bank said in a report Monday.

"Winds of Change: East Asia's Sustainable Energy Future" focused only on China and five Southeast Asian countries -- Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

It urged the governments to take immediate action to switch to clean energy and proposed a "sustainable energy development path" for them to convert to renewable energy.

The proposal envisages low-carbon fuels such as renewable energy and nuclear energy half the power demand in the region by 2030.

For that to be achieved, low-carbon technologies' share of power generation in the region will have to increase threefold from 17 percent now.

The switch to clean energy is likely to take the form of hydropower, wind and biomass in China; hydropower, biomass and geothermal in Indonesia; geothermal and hydropower in the Philippines; imported hydropower and biomass in Thailand; and hydropower in Vietnam.

Nuclear power is likely to feature in China and it noted the governments of Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam plan to introduce nuclear power after 2020.

The report said international cooperation will be required to mobilize substantial financing for the conversion to clean energy.

The report projected energy consumption in the region could double in the next two decades due to a 50 percent jump in the urban population.

"It is within the reach of East Asia's governments to maintain economic growth, mitigate climate change and improve energy security," the report said.