Nations to focus more on renewable energy
IEA says Asean countries need $100bn for infrastructure development -
By Kabeer Yousuf -
SINGAPORE — Growing economies need to sharpen their focus on renewable energy as an alternative source of energy, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).
Speaking to the Observer at the opening of the 60th Annual Singapore International Energy Week (SIEW), at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre at the Marina Bay Sands, IEA’s Chief Economist Dr Fatih Birol opined that the proliferation of renewable energy is transforming the way energy is harnessed, distributed and consumed.
“We, at the IEA estimate that renewable energy is now the fastest growing sector of the global energy mix, accounting for around a fifth of all electricity produced worldwide and nations need to pay more attention to the renewable energy for their sustainable development.”
Quoting the latest report published by the IEA, he said that the Asean countries need $100 billion for their basic oil and gas infrastructure development and a whopping 60 per cent of this would go to building power plants.
S Iswaran, Singapore’s Minister in Prime Minister’s Office and Second Minister for Home Affairs and trade and Industry urged the governments and policy-makers must consider how the global developments can be harnessed to secure the energy future of their countries.
“We have some of the best strategies and initiatives in order to diversify Singapore’s energy mix, foster competition in our energy markets, and help consumers make more informed choices about their energy use and one key strategy is to diversify our energy sources”, Iswaran said at his opening remarks.
“At present, solar energy is the most viable source of renewable energy for countries like Singapore. Hence, the Government has invested significantly in solar Research and Development (R&D) efforts.
“These include competitive research grant calls, test-bedding efforts, as well as support for research institutes — such as the Solar Energy Research Institute of Singapore (or SERIS) — to study the technical aspects of adapting solar energy to Singapore’s context”.
There were 5 panel discussion forums along with the Singapore Energy Summit attended by global leaders in the industry. Topics varied from ‘Powering Asia’s Future Energy Needs’ to ‘Gas: The Game Changer?’, ‘Re-drawing The Energy Map’, ‘The Resurgence of Fossil Fuel’, and to ‘Low Carbon and Green Growth’.
Officially opened by Shaikh Khalid Bin Khalifa al Thani, Chief Executive Officer of Qatargas, a number of experts who have a proven record in initiating policies and successfully implementing the same took part in the sessions.