“Accelerating Energy Transformation” was announced as the theme of this year’s SIEW by Ngiam Shih Chun, Chief Executive of the Energy Market Authority of Singapore. It highlights the need to transform our energy ambitions into actionable solutions, as the energy landscape continues to experience major shifts.
Global energy demand is expanding, and this is especially pronounced in Asia. The growth in energy demand will be driven by the electrification of transportation, industries and buildings. This demand has been supported by increased supply of oil and gas, lowered cost of renewables and technological advancements in energy storage. However, there remain concerns over meeting climate change commitments, even as renewable energy investments hit record highs.
Against this backdrop, the SIEW 2019 Global Launch, held on 26 March 2019, provided a platform for global energy stakeholders to discuss how to accelerate the transformation toward a more sustainable energy future:
1. The role of Gas and LNG in addressing rising energy demand and climate change challenges
Zee Loh, General Manager, Shell Energy Singapore, shared insights from the Shell LNG Outlook 2019. He highlighted the growing role of gas and LNG as the world tackles rising energy demand and climate change challenges. According to the Outlook, gas will supply more than 40 per cent of additional demand by 2035, with China as the world’s largest gas importer.
2. ASEAN as a new hub for renewable energy
Sharad Somani, Executive Director and ASPAC Head – Power & Utilities, KPMG, covered trends and opportunities of the renewable energy transition. He outlined how renewable energy has reached a tipping point, as a result of accelerated technological innovation, government policy, consumer demand and industry competition. ASEAN in particular stands to gain, he said, as the region is expected to become a new hub for renewable energy deployment, innovation and investments.
3. The shift from longer-term energy ambitions to actionable solutions today
Following the presentations, CNBC Senior Correspondent Sri Jegarajah moderated an open-floor discussion with Zee Loh and Sharad Somani. The conversation focused on how Asia can shift its longer-term energy ambitions into actionable solutions that can be implemented today.
The panel covered wide-ranging topics. Firstly, despite the rise of CO2 emissions, the ambition for a cleaner energy mix in Asia remains. Energy efficiency and technological advancements will each play a critical role in the transition to renewable energy – as will government support. Carbon tax was also discussed, as a potential solution to lowering CO2 emissions. However, increased innovation and competition will likely be more impactful. Lastly, over the next 10 years, Southeast Asia will continue to increase its adoption of clean energy. Even as countries across the region remain focused on access to power at the most reasonable price, other issues such as security and environmental sustainability will remain key factors in determining the optimal energy mix.
Revisit the discussions from the SIEW 2019 Global Launch at the SIEW Live blog.
SIEW 2019 will be held at Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre in Singapore from 29 October 2019 to 1 November 2019. Registration SIEW will open on 1 July 2019.