GFN will be attending the 36th IAEE International Conference that will be held in Daegu, Korea on June 16–20, 2013. The conference theme is Energy Transition and Policy Challenges, and GFN’s Norberto Fueyo will be delivering a paper co-authored with economists from the Asian Development Bank entitled Energy Security, Sustainability and Affordability in Developing Asia 2010–2035: A Quantitative Analysis

In 2010, Asia accounted for about 28% of the global GDP, and about 30% of the world’s primary energy consumption. Among the countries in the region, China and India deserve special attention in the energy sector. China has recently surpassed the US as the leading primary energy consumer in the world in absolute terms. Its primary energy demand has more than doubled since 2002, an unparalleled trend elsewhere in the world. (Its primary energy intensity, and primary energy per capita, are however commensurate with its degree of development: its primary energy intensity is between 3 and 8 times as large as that of developed countries; per capita consumption is between 2 and 5 times smaller). China’s energy dependence has increased in recent years: it was nearly independent at the turn of the millennium but it was importing about 10% of its primary energy in 2009. Critically, while the country is making an effort to resort to cleaner energy sources, its economy relies heavily on coal (both national and, increasingly, imported) as an energy source. China uses more coal than the US, Europe and Japan combined. Over the period 2013–2016, about 273 GW of new coal plants are planned, equivalent to a new large coal fired plant every week. As a consequence, China contributes with about 50% of the world CO2 emissions from coal. India’s primary energy intensity is similar to China’s, although its primary energy demand has increased since 2002 by a moderate (by comparison) 40%.

The above challenges are compounded by the expected growth of the Asian economies over the next three decades. Under some scenarios, energy demand is envisioned to increase by more than 40%-75% until 2035. These will undoubtedly change radically the energy security status quo, with Asian economies relying heavily on energy imports and shifting their emphasis to increasing their energy security. They are also likely to become a major contributor to Green House Gas emissions. Against this backdrop, a quantitative analysis can help answer some fundamental questions: Will energy self-sufficiency deteriorate severely, particularly compared with other regions in the world? Can regional cooperation in the energy sector increase resilience through diversification? Will energy affordability improve in Developing Asia? What is the cost-benefit balance of introducing increasing shares of more diverse and carbon-free (but expensive) energy technologies in these countries?

IAEE (The International Association for Energy Economics) is an independent, non-profit, global membership organization for business, government, academic and other professionals concerned with energy and related issues in the international community. We advance the knowledge, understanding and application of economics across all aspects of energy and foster communication amongst energy concerned professionals.