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1st East Asia Summit Energy Efficiency Conference
AbstractThe energy demand in the East Asia region is expected to continue to grow in the long run with its high economic growth and social development, while the existence of large potential for energy saving and conservation as well as the improvement of energy efficiency is urgently needed. The energy efficiency activities can bring economic development while minimizing environmental impact of the growth, and improve the energy security of individual country and the region as a whole.With this background, Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) and ASEAN Secretariat co-organized the 1st East Asia Summit Energy Efficiency Conference together with Lao PDR as the host on 24 August 2011 in Vientiane, Lao PDR. The Conference was attended by more than 200 participants from government, research institutes, international organizations, academia and business sectors. The conference was the first major forum organized in the context of East Asia Summit (EAS) Energy Ministers' Meeting that provides deep analysis and insights focusing on the issue of energy efficiency and conservations.
The Conference started with the welcome remarks given by H.E Mr. Soulivong DARAVONG (Minister of Energy and Mines, Lao PDR), followed by Mr. Hiroshi ASAHI (Director General for Energy and Environmental Policy, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry(METI), Japan) and Dr. Somsak PIPOPPINYO (Director of Finance, Industry and Infrastructure Directorate, ASEAN Secretariat).Four sessions including panel discussions among speakers and participants were conducted as follows.
Session 1: Challenges and Opportunities in Energy EfficiencySession 2: Incentives and Mechanisms to Improve Energy EfficiencySession 3: Technologies and Private Sectors in Energy EfficiencySession 4: Energy Efficiency Road Map Formulation Project
The Conference provided energy outlook based on various data and projections, and identified key political measures, for example, incentivizing private sectors for energy efficiency investments such as low-interest loan or leasing system. It also identified and shared examples of good policy practices such as the "Top Runner" program of Japan, energy standards and labeling programs of Korea, and "Greening Building" and government co-investment program "ESCO Fund" of Thailand and Green ICT in Malaysia, and showed the great potentials and opportunities at policy cooperation in promoting energy efficiency.
Furthermore, mid-term report of the Energy Efficiency Road Map Formulation Project being conducted by ERIA was presented. The project aims to formulate the energy efficiency roadmap in Lao PDR with the consideration of a wide range of economic and social impacts of prospective technologies. During the meeting, the project was demonstrated that it has identified priority areas of energy efficiency improvement in Lao PDR, such as loss reduction in the electricity sector, and has examined possible technical and social solutions. The project, upon its completion next year, is expected to help Lao PDR to establish its energy efficiency goals and action plans, with feasible and detailed technical roadmaps and timeline of implementation.
In response to the discussion and suggestion during the conference, and with recognition of the importance of the promotion of energy efficiency in the region, the continuation of the conference was suggested and supported by the participants. ERIA offered to continue to be an organizer of the future conference together with ASEAN Secretariat and an interested host country. Also, ERIA expressed the readiness to strengthen its efforts to provide instruments and expertise to further improve the energy efficiency in many aspects and thus contribute to the sustainable economic development of the region.
In his closing remark, Mr. Hidetoshi NISHIMURA, Executive Director of ERIA, introduced the report of the Conference and said that it will be presented to the 5th EAS Energy Ministers' Meeting in September 2011 in Brunei.