by T.I. Gorkina

Published in Vestnik Moskovskogo universiteta. Seriâ 5. Geografiâ by Moscow University Press.

2023   Volume 78, Issue № 3 (2023), p18-29


The current stage of development of the world energy industry is taking place in line with the fourth industrial revolution, characterized by the changing ways of life and the introduction of new technologies based on R&D. Environmental pollution has reached a large scale, and as a result it has become necessary to change the structure of modern fuel and energy balance in favor of renewable and non-traditional energy sources. Asian countries vary widely in terms of the level of economic development, making it difficult to create an integrated energy market in Asia. A typology of countries according to the level of economic development was elaborated on the basis of a multi-scale analysis using traditional methods of economic geography. In total these countries rank first in the world in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, accounting for almost 60% of pollutants released into the environment. The fuel and energy balance of Asian countries is characterized by a high proportion of coal, which contributes to the large-scale environment pollution. In accordance with international practice, the countries of the continent adopted energy programs aimed at lesser emissions by reducing the share of coal and switching to low-carbon energy sources. The energy transition can take place primarily in the leading Asian countries that have necessary financial resources. Most Asian countries are at the early stages of industrialization, and the energy transition is almost impossible at this stage because they use energy-intensive industrial technologies. The urgent need to stop climate change comes into conflict with rising energy consumption. Asia has become the world's leader in energy consumption, as it takes place not only in industry, but also in the utility sector, because 4.2 billion people, or more than 50% of the world's urban population, live in cities. China has become a leader in the introduction of renewable energy sources, the country has developed and implements new environmental standards that will achieve carbon neutrality by 2060 through the accelerated commissioning of new zero-emission power plants. The rejection of coal could aggravate socio-economic problemsof Asia because of its high share in the fuel and energy balance and the large number of people employed in the industry. In line with the sustainable development goals, the Asian countries try to introduce renewable energy sources based on the local comparative advantages.
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