Energy Security in Asia: Prospects for Regional Cooperation
energy security; regional cooperation; energy sustainability; renewable energy; Asia and the Pacific
Three case studies illustrate some of the secondary consequences of the search for energy security and its relationship to regional trade and cooperation: the role of the People’s Republic of China, the emerging market in biofuels in Southeast Asia, and diverse feed-in tariffs for renewable energy. The three main ways regional cooperation can strengthen national policies on energy security are (i) sharing information and knowledge to create a sound evidence base for policies, (ii) agreeing on common policies, and (iii) developing subregional markets in electricity and gas. The priorities of the knowledge base should be energy efficiency and renewable energy; in many cases it will be advantageous to work further toward harmonized policies. In the long term, the biggest impact of regional cooperation on national energy security will be creating regional networks; developing subregional markets will likely be the most effective approach. An Asian infrastructure cell at the Asian Development Bank could identify technically feasible projects of Asian interest and determine country support; serve as the secretariat for an Asian infrastructure fund; further monitor the development of subregional markets in electricity and gas; and encourage a harmonized approach through facilitating information exchanges, dialogues, and regional agreements.