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Brace for energy woes, IEA tells Asia

June 1, 2012 at 8:21 AM

PARIS, June 1 (UPI) -- Governments in Southeast Asia need to plan for a diverse energy mix as economies expand, the director of the IEA said from Paris.

The International Energy Agency estimates that energy demand from members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations will expand 90 percent in the next 25 years. The growth rate, about 2.3 percent per year, is double the average rate of the rest of the world.

IEA Executive Director Maria Van der Hoeven said the growing economy means the region is on pace to become a significant consumer of energy resources.

She said that the region already is dependent heavily on oil imports and could face significant shortages of natural gas.

"ASEAN countries need to plan strategically for a more balanced and diverse energy mix to address these issues and invest in alternative sources of energy," Van der Hoeven said in a statement.

Van der Hoeven added that parts of the region have "relatively abundant" sources of renewable energy that remain untapped.

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