Most Southeast Asian economies have doubled in size since 2000.
But a new report says their energy security is at risk if they don’t develop more renewable power.

These nations also need to take urgent action to curb their greenhouse emissions, after relying on coal to power their economic growth.

It’s rare to read about economic growth at the moment, but most Southeast Asian countries have seen their economies double in size since 2000.

However, this growth has been so rapid that it’s now threatening to outstrip the region’s ability to keep itself supplied with energy, according to a new report from the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Power generation in the region has almost tripled in the past two decades to keep pace with economic growth, with the largest increase coming from coal-fired power plants, the Southeast Asia Energy Outlook 2022 says. Rising living standards have led to a threefold increase in the number of air conditioning units over the same period.

Southeast Asia’s power generation has tripled in 20 years. But is it running out of energy options?
Energy demand has increased broadly in line with rises in GDP across Southeast Asia. Image: IEA

There has also been a tripling in the length of paved roads and the number of vehicles on them. Meanwhile, the proportion of the population with access to electricity climbed from 60% in 2000 to 95% in 2020.

But first COVID-19 and now the turbulence in global oil and gas markets caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have dented Southeast Asia’s energy and economic prospects.

Governments across Southeast Asia have pledged to reduce their dependence on fossil fuels and set targets to move to carbon neutrality. But the IEA says these countries are unlikely to hit these targets with their current policies.

Energy demand in Southeast Asia has increased by an average of 3% a year since 2000 – a trend that is set to continue as economic growth returns after the pandemic. However, the IEA says three-quarters of this new demand is likely to be met by fossil fuels, increasing CO2 emissions by a third.

Although the region imports most of its oil from the Middle East and Africa, market turbulence caused by Russia’s war on Ukraine has “shone a spotlight on the energy security vulnerabilities of Southeast Asian countries”, the reports says.

Clean energy solution

The transition to clean energy will provide a long-term solution to soaring oil and gas prices, the IEA says. However, it warns that energy costs will rise in the short term for a number of Southeast Asian nations, as they need to increase their fossil fuel stockpiles to guard against supply disruptions.

In recent years, only about 40% of the region’s energy investment has gone into renewables. That needs to increase sharply to help keep global temperature rises below 2°C, the IEA says, estimating that these nations will need to spend $190 billion a year by 2030 on solar and wind capacity and on improving energy grids.

Solar energy in Indonesia would cost 40% less if its investment and financing risks were similar to those of advanced economies.

Unpredictable regulation and restrictions on foreign direct investment are holding back private-sector investment, the report adds. It says solar energy in Indonesia would be 40% cheaper if its investment and financing risks were comparable to those of advanced economies.

Contracts with power generators also need to become more flexible to reflect the variable nature of renewable generation, the report says. Power stations in some countries are currently paid whether their electricity is needed or not.

Cutting emissions

The region could also cut its emissions in the short term by increasing its use of low-emissions biofuels and carbon capture technology, the IEA says. Even switching from coal to natural gas would cut emissions by 30% by 2050 compared with current policies.


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Billy Markus shared his stance against the statement “cryptocurrencies are the best hedge against inflation”. 

Billy Markus is popularly known as Shibetoshi Nakamoto and he is co-founder of the popular meme coin Doge. In 2013, Billy and his friend Jackson Palmer launched Dogecoin without any use concept to prove that the launch of cryptocurrencies is just fun and anyone can do it. However, the origin of Dogecoin was nothing but, in reality, the current situation is much more favorable for this coin, where huge numbers of businesses are accepting it as a means of payment and many Crypto Investors are trading it to make significant profit. 

Recently a discussion started among some crypto proponents on Twitter. The whole discussion started with the tweet of Billy Markus. 

Billy tweeted about the normal question of investment timings in cryptocurrencies during the bear market situation. The whole discussion ended with the thought of the Dogecoin founder that crypto investment is increasing among the people because of the highly volatile nature of cryptocurrencies instead of looking at these digital assets as a hedge against inflation.

The statement in favor of cryptocurrencies as an “inflation hedge” is a common statement among the huge numbers of crypto proponents but this statement usually came in favor of Bitcoin & Ethereum, not in favor of altcoins. 

Dogecoin founder against cryptocurrencies

However, Billy Markus is a big proponent of the crypto industry but in reality, he always showed his negative stances against the new coin’s birth. 

A couple of months ago, Dogecoin co-founder criticized the team of Ape Coin creators. He said that NFTs-based cryptocurrencies launch may ruin the future of NFTs culture.

Billy criticized Binance Smart Chain (BSC) based tokens many times. According to him, all the BSC-based coins are only a scam. 

Read also: Bitcoin Maximalist Jack says RIP web3


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Ferdinand Marcos Jr is set to become President of the Philippines and Sara Duterte, the daughter of the current President, Rodrigo Duterte, is set to become Vice President.

Foreign investors are expected to resort to a wait-and-see approach since the President-elect has not made his economic policies clear. The immediate challenges facing Marcos Jr include the Philippines’ high budget deficit, income inequality, and balancing relations between the US and China. Putting the colorful family legacy aside, a question on everybody’s minds is whether Marcos Jr will continue some of Duterte’s flagship economic programs, such as infrastructure spending under the Build, Build, Build program.

On May 9, 2022, Filipinos went to the polls to choose their next president and vice president in what has been touted as the most significant election in the country’s history. Unofficial results show that Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr, son of former strongman President Ferdinand Marcos Sr, captured 31 million votes, double that of his closest rival, the current Vice President Leni Robredo who had some 14 million votes. Some 67.5 million were eligible to vote in this year’s elections.

Foreign investors are expected to resort to a wait-and-see approach, particularly since the President-elect has not made his economic policies clear. What is clear is that the new President will inherit a country with immediate and long-standing challenges, which include an economy battered by the pandemic, a record national debt of PHP 11.7 trillion (US$232 billion), deep poverty, and increasing inequality.

President Ferdinand Marcos Sr was elected in 1965 before declaring martial law in 1972 to suppress the threat of a communist takeover and civil strife following a series of bombings in Manila. Though it was formally lifted in 1981, the powers granted under martial law continued to be granted to the President for the duration of his presidency. Allegations of human rights abuses and mass corruption led to a People Power Revolution in 1986, which removed him from power. He and his family fled to Hawaii where hundreds of criminal and civil cases were filed against him and his family as they were accused of amassing a fortune worth about US$10 billion through ill-gotten gains.

Under his presidency, the Philippines saw a growth rate rise, peaking at nine percent in 1973 and 1976. He pursued an aggressive infrastructure program, funded by foreign debt that would lead to an inflationary crisis in the latter years of his presidency. The economy contracted by as much as 7.3 percent in 1984 and 1985. External debt ballooned from US$599 million at the start of his presidency to over US$28.3 billion when he fled into exile — amounting to 80 percent of the GDP.

Ferdinand Marcos Sr died in Hawaii on September 28, 1989.

Bongbong Marcos was elected as Vice Governor of Ilocos Norte province in 1980, a stronghold of the Marcos family. He became Governor of the province in 1983, before the revolution, taking over from his aunt who had held power for over a decade. Upon the family’s return to the Philippines, Bongbong was elected to the House of Representatives in 1992, from where he began his decades-long effort to attain the presidency. He suffered a setback in 2016 when his Vice-Presidential bid came up short to the current Vice President Leni Robredo.

Bongbong Marcos filed a protest to the country’s Supreme Court to contest the results. The Supreme Court dismissed his protest.

The Marcos campaign has offered little in terms of policies on how to tackle the myriad of problems in the Philippines. The benchmark Philippine index dropped amid a selloff as investors wait for Marcos Jr’s economic plans. The selloff erased as much as US$9.3 billion on May 10, 2022. The Marcos Jr campaign has focused on the theme of ‘unity’. Bongbong snubbed invitations to partake in pre-election debates, and rarely gave interviews; even his campaign website contains no clear overview of any policy pledges.

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This article was first published by AseanBriefing which is produced by Dezan Shira & Associates. The firm assists foreign investors throughout Asia from offices across the world, including in in China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Singapore, India, and Russia. Readers may write to [email protected]


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It looks like unibody based pickups might be the next big thing, with the introduction of the Ford Maverick and Hyundai Santa Cruz. But we can’t ignore the 2022 Honda Ridgeline, which up until now has been the only truck based on a crossover platform available. The midsize Ridgeline is a stand out with its refined driving dynamics, spacious interior and neat tricks in its bed.

2022 Honda Ridgeline Review

The Ridgeline is based on the same platform as the Passport and Pilot SUVs. When the current Ridgeline debuted, it was criticized for not looking as rugged as truck buyers prefer. Fortunately Honda gave the Ridgeline a big facelift last year to give it a more truck-like face to make it look less like a crossover. The styling updates were a big upgrade, but we wish Honda would take it a step further, lets hope a more rugged Ridgeline TrailSport is in the works.

Inside the Ridgeline’s interior is nearly identical to the Passport and Pilot. This means that it feels more car-like inside than other midsize rivals, like the Nissan Frontier and Toyota Tacoma. That’s great for most buyers, since the Ridgeline’s interior is more comfortable than any of its rivals. Although the Ridgeline has a similar footprint as other midsize pickups, its interior is more spacious, especially in the second row. The Ridgeline is also pretty wide, since it’s 5.3 inches wider than a Ford Ranger, which means there’s a lot more shoulder room. One cool feature is the rear seat that can be flipped up to provide enough room for a full-size bicycle.

One of our biggest gripes with the Ridgeline is its 8.0-inch infotainment system, which has dated graphics, a weird menu structure and reacts slowly. The small digital screen in the gauge cluster also looks dated, making the Ridgeline feel like it needs a major interior refresh to make it look and feel more modern.

2022 Honda Ridgeline Review

At the rear the bed measures 5 feet 3 inches, which is on par with other short beds that come with midsize crew cab pickups. Where the Ridgeline stands out is with its in-bed trunk – a 7.9 cubic space below the bed’s floor that can store suitcases and other gear. The Ridgeline also has a cool Dual Action Tailgate that allows it to either drop down like a traditional truck or swing out like a door. Lastly if you like to tailgate, the top spec Ridgeline comes with a fun Truck-Bed Audio System that essentially turns the bed into a big speaker. The audio system can be powered on at speeds below 10 mph, which means that if you’re cruising in a parade, you can blast your favorite tunes.

Under the hood there’s only one powertrain to choose from. The Ridgeline is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 with 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque, that’s mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission and a torque-vectoring all-wheel drive system. Honda did offer a front-wheel drive version, but that option has been discontinued. The V6 is smooth and the powertrain is more responsive than you get with the V6-powered Tacoma.

The Ridgeline is rated at 18 mpg city, 24 mpg highway and 21 mpg combined, which is only slightly better than the Toyota Tacoma’s 18/22/20 mpg rating.

2022 Honda Ridgeline Review

The Ridgeline is easily the best handling midsize pickup with its smooth ride and controlled body motions. Since it’s based on the same platform as the Passport and Pilot, it shouldn’t be a surprise that the Ridgeline drives more like a crossover than a body-on-frame pickup. The Ridgeline feels more agile than the Tacoma and Ranger pickups with an overall driving experience that feels far more refined.

Since the Ridgeline isn’t based on a rugged body-on-frame platform there are some downsides. It only has 7.6 inches of ground clearance and can only tow up to 5,000 pounds. Several of its rivals can tow over 7,000 pounds. Also although the all-wheel drive system does perform well, it still is not match for a traditional four-wheel drive system when you’re hitting the trails. Lastly there aren’t any skid plates or underbody protection to keep you from damaging the Ridgeline.

On the safety front, the Ridgeline comes standard with automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assist and adaptive cruise control.

The 2022 Honda Ridgeline is offered in four trim levels: Sport, RTL, REL-E and Black Edition. The pricing for the base Ridgeline Sport starts at $39,435, including destination. The top of the line Ridgeline Black Edition starts at $46,865.

At the end of the day, the Honda Ridgeline offers mostly everything that truck buyers want with a level of refinement that is unmatched in the midsize truck segment.


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