Sam Roggeveen yesterday showed us how much demand for coal has risen in Asia during this century. Now consider what the future will hold.

A recent joint publication from the International Energy Agency and the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia forecasts what is in store for the ASEAN countries  over the next twenty years. The report covers everything from the variation in technical efficiency of burning coal, to fossil fuel subsidies (more than $50 billion a year).

These two graphs show a key message: that there is going to be a lot of coal burnt in our neighbourhood in the next twenty years. The first graph shows how much catching-up the ASEAN countries have ahead of them, starting as they do with per-capita electricity consumption only about one-seventh of OECD countries. As your income gets higher, you consume more electricity. The second graph shows estimates of how this will boost coal consumption much faster than other energy sources, because coal is cheapest.