KARACHI: Thailand, the Philippines and India top a list of nine Asian countries that say they are very concerned about future energy needs, amid increasing pressure for more energy, water and food to keep up with increased population growth.
The results emerged from a series of Shell-commissioned Future Energy surveys in which 80 percent of the respondents ranked longer-term future energy needs alongside everyday concerns like public education and cost of living as important. The surveys covered 8,446 people in 31 cities and 9 regional areas.
These concerns have arisen amid growing energy pressures globally. By 2030, the world will need 40% to 50% more energy, water and food in tandem with rising demand and increased populations. Tremendous stress will be placed on these vital resources as energy is used to move and treat water; water is required to produce energy and both energy and water are required in the production of food.
“It is encouraging to know that Asians view future energy needs as high priority, as this region will see one of the fastest growths in population and energy demand,” said Jeremy Bentham, Shell’s Vice President for Global Business Environment. “More than ever before, the industry, government and public all have a joint responsibility to create a better energy future, and must come together to collaborate and coordinate our efforts to meet these challenges for generations to come.”
Most survey respondents expect energy shortages and higher energy prices to have a significant impact on their countries. Issues seen as most pertinent are energy shortages in Thailand (91%) and Pakistan (90%), higher energy prices in India (91%) and Singapore (79%), water shortages in Vietnam (89%) and food shortages in Indonesia (86%).
The surveys indicate that Asia is in favour of a mix of future energy sources, with solar energy and natural gas leading the way in many countries. Solar energy is the most desired future energy source across most countries, which include Singapore (86%), Thailand (83%) and India (77%). Natural gas is cited as the most preferred future energy source in Brunei (87%) and is second most preferred in Singapore (52%), Indonesia (43%) and India (43%).
Survey respondents agree that collaboration between industry, government, and the public, as well as innovation and incentives for cleaner energy, are the most important factors in shaping future energy needs. In Pakistan, over 50% of 2000 respondents, identified effective government policy as the most important factor in building future energy solutions.
Asia’s future energy challenges and the survey findings will be discussed in depth on Thursday, 6 February 2014 at the Shell Powering Progress Together forum, a gathering of thought leaders from business, government, academia and civil society. Some 300 participants will join the event to address the world’s growing water, food and energy challenges. It is held in conjunction with Shell Eco-marathon Asia 2014 in Manila, Philippines.
Key panelists include Hon. Carlos Jericho Petilla, Secretary, Philippine Department of Energy, Manila, Vinod Thomas, Director General of Independent Evaluation from the Asian Development Bank, Jose Ma. Lorenzo Tan, President and Chief Executive Officer of World Wildlife Fund Philippines and Brahma Chellaney, Professor of Strategic Studies, India Centre for Policy Research.