RMIT Vietnam NewsEnergy integration – a path to regional sustainability in APEC

Energy integration – a path to regional sustainability in APEC

Monday, September 11, 2017 - 17:13

An RMIT Vietnam lecturer’s research has found that energy demand is converging in countries across the APEC region, a finding that supports integration of energy policies, and also contributes to APEC’s discussions this year.

Vietnam hosts this APEC year, marking its 20th year as a member and celebrating its achievements in international integration. For this occasion, Senior Lecturer Dr Le Thai Ha researched energy convergence across 19 APEC countries, a topic inspired by the notion that future generations could suffer unless the region achieves sustainable growth.

Dr Ha is the lead author of a research paper entitled “Energy demand convergence in APEC: An empirical analysis,” along with Dr Chang Youngho from Nanyang Technological University and Singapore University of Social Sciences, Singapore; and Dr Park Donghyun from Asian Development Bank, Philippines. The trio published this study in Energy Economics, an A* ranked journal by Australian Business Deans Council.

Dr Ha explained that convergence, in the context of energy demand, is generally defined as the tendency of the gap in energy consumption across countries to decrease over time.

“My study finds evidence of energy demand convergence for 15 out of 19 APEC countries and evidence of electricity demand convergence for 17 out of 19 APEC countries,” Dr Ha said, adding that the findings suggest an increase the standard of living in APEC countries.

“The evidence of convergence in energy demand in a majority of APEC countries, along with the cross-border nature of many environmental and energy issues, would strengthen the case for harmonisation of energy and electricity markets.”

Dr Le Thai Ha believes regional countries should pay more attention to exploiting new energy resources, developing clean and renewable energies, improving energy efficiency, and promoting clean technology transfer.

Dr Ha said that this could be done by bringing legislation in line with APEC’s common standards and requirements.

“As global primary energy reserves are limited, regional countries should pay more attention to exploiting new energy resources, developing clean and renewable energies, improving energy efficiency as well as promoting clean technology transfer,” she said.

“Furthermore, it is critical to work on integration of renewable energy and energy storage system within the region.

“Regional countries could take a harmonised approach in energy policies and strategies to increase the efficiency of energy management and hence pollutant emissions management. For divergent countries, pursuit of policies to achieve energy supply stability can move them toward convergence.”

Dr Le Thai Ha

Dr Ha’s paper including data and methodology, empirical results, and discussion is available online.

APEC’s 2017 priorities are: Promoting Sustainable, Innovative, and Inclusive Growth; Deepening Regional Economic Integration; Strengthening MSMEs’ Competitiveness and Innovation in the Digital Age; and Enhancing Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture in Response to Climate Change.

Story: Hoang Ha