Accounting for around 60 percent of world energy demand, the APEC region is a net energy importer and its demand for energy is on the rise. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA) forecasts, global energy demand would increase by 40 percent between 2007 and 2030 (World Energy Outlook 2009). These factors make energy cooperation an important agenda item for APEC.
The Energy Working Group (EWG), launched in 1990, seeks to maximize the energy sector's contribution to the region's economic and social well-being, while mitigating the environmental effects of energy supply and use.
The EWG is assisted by four Expert Groups (Clean Fossil Energy, Efficiency & Conservation, Energy Data & Analysis, New & Renewable Energy Technologies) and two Task Forces: one on Biofuels and the other on Energy Trade and Investment (ETITF).
The ETITF was established to facilitate cooperation and promote regional energy trade and investment liberalization, and in particular to consider climate change policies and approaches to reducing greenhouse gas emissions which includes carbon pricing across the region.
Recognizing that business can make an important contribution to the development and implementation of its work programme, the EWG established its own public-private sector dialogue mechanism - the EWG Business Network (EBN)-. The EBN advises the EWG on energy policy issues from an industry perspective and facilitates regular dialogues between energy policy-makers and business sector representatives.
The 45th EWG meeting was held in Koh Samui, Thailand, on 18-22 March 2013. Members continued working on the Energy Security Initiative including short-term measures to respond to temporary energy supply disruptions and longer-term policy responses that are practical and achievable to address the broader challenges facing the region's energy supply. Also, members held an important workshop on Removing Fossil-fuel Subsidies, which is part of their Annual Work Plan. In that sense, members will continue encouraging measures to improve energy efficiency that can cut the APEC region’s dependence on oil and gas as well as reduce greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels. With the reviewing of the role of natural gas in the total regional energy balance, members highlighted this issue as part of their Annual Work Plan as well as their Dialogue on Major Natural Disaster and Energy Infrastructure in order to have preventive measures.
The 44th EWG meeting was held in Washington, D.C., the United States on 5-9 November 2012. Members discussed the new list of environmental goods and services recently approved in Vladivostok, Russia, particularly those related to the energy sector.
With regards to EWG projects, Danang City in Viet Nam was chosen to be the next case study for the Low Carbon Model Town (Phase 3) Project. San Borja in Peru would be considered in the subsequent phase of LCMT. On the margins of the meeting the following workshops were also held: “How to advance the Prospects of Unconventional Gas” and “How to Integrate Power Grids”, where experts shared with members the information on shale gas and how the United States is integrating their power grids for more efficiency.
The 10th Energy Ministerial Meeting was held on 24-25 June 2012 in St. Petersburg, Russia. APEC’s Energy Ministers convened to deliberate on ongoing work and set the agenda for energy issues going forward. The outcomes of the meeting can be found here.
The 43rd EWG meeting was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on 5-10 March 2012. Members deliberated on the results of the APEC Joint Transportation and Energy Ministerial Conference that was held in September 2011, in San Francisco, the United States. The resulting “Action Agenda to move APEC toward an Energy Efficient, Sustainable, Low-Carbon Transport Future” and work plan for 2011-2013 were also discussed. The areas of focus include:
- Strengthening transportation’s role in a clean-energy future
- Developing energy efficient transport systems for livable low-carbon communities
- Powering low-carbon transport
- Greening the supply chain: Energy efficient freight transportation
In 2012, the EWG has undertaken numerous capacity building workshops that are assisting APEC economies towards achieving their energy goals and fostering green growth. These events include:
- The second APEC Cooperative Energy Efficiency Design for Sustainability (CEEDS) Phase 3 workshop that was held in Singapore in January 2012. The first workshop was held in San Francisco, the United States in September 2011.
- The Training Workshop on Analytical Methods to Monitor the Effectiveness of Implementing Energy Efficiency Measures that was held in Hanoi, Viet Nam in February 2012
- The APEC Low Carbon City Workshop: Achieving Sustainability through Low Carbon Cities that was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in March 2012
APEC energy cooperation is conducted under the framework of the Energy Security Initiative (ESI), which was first put forward by the EWG in 2000. The objective of the ESI is to prepare the region for potential energy supply disruptions and subsequent impacts on economic activities.
The ESI covers a range of issues including: the Monthly Oil Data Initiative, maritime security, real-time emergency information sharing, oil supply emergency response, energy investment, natural gas trade, nuclear power, energy efficiency, renewable energy, hydrogen, methane hydrates, and clean fossil energy.
In 2001 the Joint Oil Data Initiative (JODI) was launched. This initiative is a collaborative oil information collection programme in its 10th year of operation that is undertaken by APEC, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), the IEA, the International Energy Forum, and the United Nations Environment Programme. The JODI database has been helpful for oil producers, consumers, researchers and analysts. In October 2011, the 8th JODI Oil Conference was held in Beijing, China, marking the 10th anniversary of JODI.
Noting that cooperation and partnership are essential to addressing energy security and environmental challenges, the EWG has further strengthened collaboration with other international energy fora on a broad range of issues, including maritime energy transport security, emergency preparedness, energy efficiency, and clean energy technology. Accordingly, the IEA, the Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP) and the Energy Charter Secretariat have been granted guest status in the EWG.
In the APEC Leaders' Declaration on Climate Change, Energy Security and Clean Development, endorsed in Sydney, Australia on 9 September 2007, APEC Leaders emphasized the importance of improving energy efficiency and resolved to work towards an APEC-wide aspirational goal of a reduction in energy intensity of at least 25 percent by 2030. They also established an Asia-Pacific Network for Energy Technology (APNet) to strengthen collaboration on energy research in the region, particularly in the areas of clean fossil energy and renewable energy sources.
In July 2009, Japan contributed approximately US$1.3 million to the APEC Secretariat to promote energy efficiency activities throughout the APEC region. The sum will specifically fund the development and implementation of energy efficiency policies, goals and action plans that are in line with the Leaders' Declaration.
APEC Energy Ministers held the ninth Energy Ministerial Meeting in Fukui, Japan between 18-20 June, 2010 under the theme "Low Carbon Paths to Energy Security: Cooperative Energy Solutions for a Sustainable APEC."
At the meeting, APEC Ministers and delegates discussed issues including energy security, responses to oil supply disruptions, improvement of energy efficiency, carbon capture and storage, enhancement of the PREE mechanism, efficient use of fossil energies, nuclear power generation, new and renewable energies, and bio-fuels.
In particular, APEC Energy Ministers directed officials to improve energy efficiency by:
- Developing joint programs with International Energy Agency to improve response to oil and gas emergency situations;
- Conducting an Unconventional Gas Census to evaluate its potential which could increase natural gas output;
- Continuing assessing the resource potential for bio-fuels to displace petroleum-based fuels; and
- Assessing the potential for reducing the energy intensity of economic output in APEC economies between 2005 and 2030, beyond the 25 percent aspirational goal already agreed by the APEC Leaders.
A Private Sector Dialogue working lunch also took place where speakers from the private sector considered the development and deployment of low-carbon technologies.
The Fukui Declaration was signed at the end of the Ministerial Meeting, as well as a Memorandum of Understanding on the Sub-Fund for Energy Efficiency and Low-Carbon Measures between APEC Secretariat, represented by its Executive Director, and the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry on behalf of the Government of Japan.
A key initiative that EWG is implementing is the APEC Peer Review Mechanism on Energy Efficiency (PREE). The objectives of the PREE are:
- to promote information sharing among APEC members on energy efficiency performance and on policies and measures for improving energy efficiency; and
- to explore how energy efficiency goals on an overall and/or sectoral basis and action plans could be effectively formulated and implemented in APEC economies.
A team of energy efficiency experts have now completed several PREE reports on Chile, New Zealand, Viet Nam, Thailand, Chinese Taipei, Peru, Malaysia and Indonesia. To download and view the eight PREE reports, please click here.
On February 2013, the EWG released the 5th Edition of the APEC Energy Outlook of Demand and Supply. The report was conducted by the Asia Pacific Energy Research Center (APERC), in coordination with the APEC Energy Working Group, and provides detailed projections of APEC’s energy demand, supply and greenhouse gas emissions.
Dr Phyllis Genther YOSHIDA (Ms)
Deputy Assistant Secretary
International Energy Cooperation
U.S. Department of Energy
Tel: +1 202 586 7954
Fax: +1 202 586 3047
Zhiwei LU (Mr)