ERIA and GECF Discuss Energy and Natural Gas Outlook at Joint Workshop
Energy demand in ASEAN and East Asia will continue to rise and natural gas will be a key component to meet the rising demand. However, there are challenges that will hamper efforts to reach the full potential of natural gas for power generation. The Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) and Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) discussed this topic, among others, during the Joint Workshop held in Jakarta on 23 July 2019.
‘Today the East Asia region faces various challenges due to fast changes and growing uncertainties in the global economic and geo-political landscapes, such as the evolving major power dynamics. These circumstances present ASEAN and the members of the East Asia Summit (EAS) with an opportunity to shape energy security and energy cooperation in the region. Natural gas will be a key component of meeting the rising energy demand in the region as affordable and cleaner fossil fuels,’ said President of ERIA Prof Hidetoshi Nishimura in his opening remarks for the event, which was held under the theme ‘Energy and Natural Gas Outlook: ASEAN and East Asia Focus’.
Prof Nishimura also emphasised the importance of natural gas in the regional energy mix as a transitional fuel in competitive and transparent liquefied natural gas markets, the message that he shared in his presentation during the G20 Ministerial Meeting on Energy Transitions and Global Environment for Sustainable Growth in Karuizawa, Japan last month.
Dr Yury P. Sentyurin, Secretary General of GECF, briefly explained about the GECF Global Gas Outlook, which consists of global economic and energy price prospects, energy policy developments and emissions trade, energy and natural gas demand outlook, natural gas supply outlook, gas trade and investment, as well as alternative scenarios. He also pointed out several of GECF’s participations in the Global Climate Agenda.
A similar expectation regarding natural gas demand was conveyed by Mr Dmitry Sokolov, the Head of the Energy Economics and Forecasting Department of GECF , during his presentation. However, he mentioned that coal would continue to have a high share in the regional energy mix and referred to ERIA’s EAS Energy Outlook.
‘Natural gas demand is expected to reach about 1,300 bcm (bank cubic metres) by 2040, driven by growing electricity requirements, industrial needs, continuing coal-to-gas switching and efforts to promote CNG (compressed natural gas) fuelled vehicles. China, India, and Indonesia will be the main contributors of incremental gas demand volumes. Strong competition from coal and renewables, as well as the lack of policy measures, hinders natural gas to unlock the full potential within the power-generation sector,’ said Mr Sokolov.
ERIA’s Special Advisor to the President of Energy Affairs Mr Shigeru Shimura introduced the EAS Energy Outlook 2019 that was published by ERIA and suggested several policy recommendations based on the outlook, such as prioritising energy efficiency and conservation to reduce energy demands.
Dr Sentyurin and Prof Nishimura stated their commitment to uphold the memorandum of understanding between GECF and ERIA signed in November 2017 for cooperation on research regarding supply of and demand for natural gas, and developing the outlook for natural gas in this region.