Important changes need to happen for ASEAN to meet its increasing energy needs, said Dr Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA), during his SIEW Opening Keynote Address.
In his keynote, Dr Birol highlighted the crucial importance of investments in building energy security in ASEAN — the number one priority for most governments in the region. Investments in the power sector will be particularly pertinent for countries in the region that are experiencing rapid energy consumption growth.
The largest source of electricity demand growth in the region comes from household cooling, noted Dr Birol. With the average income levels of countries in the region rapidly increasing, consumers are turning towards lifestyle changes such as increased usage of air-conditioning. Improving energy efficiency will be key to managing ASEAN’s energy demand growth and realising its sustainability shift.
Keynote speaker, Mr John Abbott, Downstream Director and Member of the Executive Committee at Shell, added that only by constantly listening, learning and working together will any energy sector transformation become a reality.
In the area of transport, which accounts for a quarter of the world’s energy use, the future of mobility will be determined by whether we can work together towards a transport system of many solutions, he said.
One solution with major innovative value that has emerged is hydrogen, he noted.
But while new technologies such as hydrogen, electric cars, and battery-operated vehicles will play major roles in reducing carbon emissions and bringing us closer to our sustainability goals, there remains room for improvement.
As ASEAN moves towards its energy targets, unprecedented and sustained collaboration between policymakers, industry players, and regulators will be key to improving the production, management, and consumption of energy in the region.