Asian Energy Leaders attended the 1st East Asia Energy Forum yesterday, an associated meeting of the Asia Cooperation Dialogue that is being conducted in Panglao Island, Bohol.
BOHOL (August 10, 2017) – Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi underscored yesterday the importance of regional connectivity and having a demand driven policy in ensuring the stability, security and resiliency of the country’s energy supply.
Cusi issued the statement as he keynoted the 1st East Asia Energy Forum hosted by the Department of Energy, Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA), and Energy Research Institute Network (ERIN).
The demand based policy looks into the behavior of the consumers in their need for energy.
The Philippine government presented all available options to the consumers and adopts a neutral energy stance.
This makes the country open to using most available energy sources to ensure a viable energy mix that takes all aspects into consideration, including environmental concerns.
The forum attended by ASEAN energy sector leaders was held at the BE Grand Resort, and consisted mainly of discussions on East Asia Summit's energy goals and topics on coal, oil and gas.
In his opening remarks, ERIA President Prof. Hidetoshi Nishimura emphasized the importance of the ASEAN and East Asia leadership in crafting innovative solutions to the interrelated energy and climate change challenges.
Brunei Energy Minister Pehin Dato Mohammad Yasmin Umar highlighted Asia’s critical role in the emerging global liquefied natural gas (LNG) market, saying natural gas can create jobs while lowering carbon emissions in the region.
More than 15 high-level experts and policymakers delivered presentations at the forum, which was attended by more than 75 participants. It was pointed out in the forum that between 2013 and 2040, demand for energy in the East Asia Summit region will nearly double.
It was conceded in the forum that while countries plan to diversify and to use renewable energy sources, fossil fuels will continue to play a central role in the energy mix.
Coal remains an important fuel for the EAS region because it is affordable and highly secure in terms of its abundant availability, according to forum resource persons.
Forum participants also said that oil demand will surely increase and that it will be still be a dominant fuel in regional energy mixes to at least 2030.
As regional production capacity remains constant, Asia’s oil import dependency will increase as will its vulnerability to oil shocks, they said.
Consequently, governments should seize the opportunity provided by recently lower oil prices and more abundant global supply outlooks to develop strategic oil storage, advance oil sharing schemes and promote supplier diversification to reduce long-term vulnerabilities to disruptions.
Although gas is underutilized in Asia compared to other regions, environmental goals coupled with appropriate prices are anticipated to drive further expansion, it was posited in the forum.
Creating an Asian LNG hub could help stabilize markets and make gas a more competitive fuel in Asia.
The forum highlighted experiences and insights into how to supply and use fossil fuel from the Philippines, Brunei, Indonesia, Japan, and the United States, among others.
The delegates also noted best practices for community engagement in the development of fossil fuel projects. These include identifying and regularly engaging stakeholders with strong interests in the project and being responsive to local community concerns.
The forum discussions also noted the critical role of governments in strengthening the policy environment that can enable the cleaner use of fossil fuels.
This includes crafting appropriate incentives (both fiscal and non-fiscal) and fostering healthy environments for investment and innovation that can support the twin goals of affordability and sustainability.