23 C
Brunei
Tuesday, December 6, 2022
23 C
Brunei
Tuesday, December 6, 2022
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    More growth, less energy

    Danial Norjidi

    A newly launched energy report indicated that the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) is on track to meet its aspirational goals to reduce energy intensity by 45 per cent by 2035, relative to 2005 levels, and to double the share of modern renewables by 2030, relative to 2010 levels.

    The APEC Energy Demand and Supply Outlook gives an analysis of potential future energy demand and supply for the 21 APEC member economies.

    The report looks into progress on two APEC energy working group (EWG) energy-related goals and key opportunities and barriers for policymakers.

    Energy intensity in APEC has been improving at an average annual rate of 1.9 per cent since 2005 or cumulatively at 22 per cent from 2005 to 2018.

    In the current scenario, where existing trends in technology development, deployment, government programmes and policies continue, APEC will reach its goal to reduce energy intensity one year earlier than expected, in 2034.

    Energy intensity refers to the energy needs of an economy. Reducing energy intensity means to use less energy to produce a product or a service.

    The report noted that APEC’s share of modern renewables increased from 6.1 per cent in 2010 to 8.7 per cent in 2018. The region is expected to meet the goal of doubling renewables four years ahead of schedule, in 2026.

    “The progress that we are seeing now has been achieved mainly through structural reform efforts in improving energy efficiency in the industry, transport and building sectors,” highlighted President of the Asia-Pacific Energy Research Centre (APERC) Kazutomo Irie.

    “APEC economies have also increased their direct consumption of renewables in end-use sectors and increased in the share of electricity generated by wind and solar technologies,” he added.

    The report was produced by the APERC, established in 1996 following the directive of APEC leaders to foster a common understanding of, and solutions to, the energy challenges facing APEC member economies.

    Since then, the centre has been conducting studies and analysis of each APEC member economy’s energy demand and supply trends, future energy demand and supply outlook, the development of their energy markets and responses to policy challenges.

    The report highlighted the significant decoupling trend between energy demand and economic activity, that even with much higher economic output, end-use energy demand would only grow by a modest amount-around 14 per cent from 2018 to 2050.

    Decoupling refers to efforts made to ensure economic growth is achieved with less energy dependency. “This increase in energy demand will support a more than doubling in economic activity,” said Irie, adding, “It shows that the decoupling story is influential in all APEC economies.”

    “Decoupling is driven by continued improvements to energy efficiency, at the same time, there is a shift away from more carbon-intensive fossil fuels such as coal and oil, supported by a growth in electrification,” he said.

    APEC Secretariat Executive Director Dr Rebecca Sta Maria in her remarks at the report’s launch in Tokyo emphasised that while climate change is a global threat, its effects are especially felt in the Asia-Pacific region, “where thousands of vulnerable communities are exposed to extreme weather events”.

    She added, “It is interesting to note at this point that, since the last Outlook was published in 2019, before COVID, the APEC region’s energy demand, supply, production, electricity generation, and CO2 emissions have all grown.”

    “But it is also encouraging to see that APEC is pushing through its ambitious goal to reduce energy and increase the use of renewables through its programmes.”

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