China and ASEAN need common understanding to address energy concerns
Southeast Asia’s energy landscape was the focus at the Beijing edition of SIEW Energy Insights, held at the Global Forum on Energy Security (GFES). The panel, jointly organised with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), discussed ways to enhance cross-border understanding and cooperation to meet the region’s energy needs.
Energy is key to drive integration, competition, and resilience in ASEAN, said Professor Zhu Li, president of the APEC Sustainable Energy Center (APSEC).
Southeast Asia has to focus on energy security
The International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates that energy demand in Southeast Asia will grow by 80 percent between 2015 and 2040, as the economy more than triples in size.
With an increased need for energy imports to meet this demand, Jonathan Goh, Director of External Relations at the Energy Market Authority (EMA) of Singapore, said that Southeast Asia has to focus on addressing energy security concerns.
One part of the energy security equation is energy access. This is an area in which China can cooperate with ASEAN through its “One Belt, One Road” global trade initiative, said Professor Zha Daojiong from Peking University’s School of International Studies. He added that to achieve more, China and ASEAN need to reach a common understanding on their energy priorities.
Energy investment is another priority. As ASEAN and China move towards a sustainable energy future, heavy investment is required, said Professor Zhu. It would also require the involvement of both the public and private sectors.
For this to happen, Tan Cheng Guan, Executive Vice President and Head of Group Business Development & Commercial at Sembcorp Utilities, said that public-private partnerships (PPPs) and better commercial structures must be developed to attract the private sector.
At the sidelines of SIEW Energy Insights, we asked key energy leaders for their thoughts about taking the energy conversation forward at SIEW. Here’s what they had to say:
“We welcome a golden age for natural gas”
“I believe that natural gas will be a very important topic at SIEW because natural gas is booming in the world, especially in Asia.”
Julia Zhu Xuantong
Vice Director, Department of International Cooperation, National Energy Administration, China
“The U.S. is putting a lot of LNG, onto the market… And it really is changing the dynamics of global gas trade. It’s making gas more competitive, the markets are very well-supplied, purchasers have more flexibility, what does that mean for Asia?”
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Diplomacy, Bureau of Energy Resources, U.S. Department of State
“How do we create more [fuel] choice in our transportation sector?”
“The global transportation sector is completely beholden to petroleum fuels… how do we create more choice in our transportation sector so that fuels made from other energy commodities can compete against oil products in a free market environment?”
Dr. Gal Luft
Co-Director, Institute for the Analysis of Global Security (IAGS), and Senior Adviser, U.S. Energy Security Council
“We got to have a sustainable energy system”
“If you want a society to be sustainable, we got to have a sustainable energy system […] I’d like to see how SIEW discusses to improve the knowledge level of the people […] and new mechanisms for resource and profit reallocation.”
Prof. Zhu Li
President, APEC Sustainable Energy Center
“We have to connect and combine technology changes into energy supply and consumption because this will affect our lifestyles.”
Dr. Liu Qiang
Secretary-General, Global Forum on Energy Security (GFES)
SIEW Energy Insights Beijing was attended by more than 100 delegates. The next edition will be hosted in Tokyo in collaboration with the Institute of Energy Economics, Japan (IEEJ) on 25 July 2017. More information on SIEW Energy Insights Tokyo can be found here.