Asia and Europe regions are facing similar challenges in meeting their energy needs as ensuring affordable, reliable, and accessible energy supplies sits at the heart of energy security concerns. By 2040, global energy demand is set to increase. More than a half of such increase will take place in developing Asia, and imports will play an increasingly greater role in meeting growing energy needs. In Europe, energy demands are projected to remain relatively stable; however, its reliance on energy import is projected to make up more than 70% of Europe’s total energy need by 2030. In addition to securing energy supplies, environmental considerations are increasingly gaining traction in the energy security discourse as energy production is closely related to emissions.
Energy connectivity, both in the form of hard connectivity such as infrastructure inter-connectedness and soft connectivity such as dialogues and capacity building, facilitates the attainment of energy security. Except for Russia, the virtually non-existent energy trade between Asia and Europe is partly the reason for the absence of energy infrastructure connectivity between the two regions.
Referring to the pointers on energy connectivity laid down at the 1st ASEM Ministerial Conference on Energy Security in 2009, however, existing energy cooperation between ASEM partners in various bilateral, inter-regional, and multilateral settings have already established some level of connectivity through various energy dialogues, memoranda of understanding, institutional capacity building and other means of cooperation.
Regardless of such success, more can be done to further strengthen Asia-Europe energy relations and enable them to be more impactful in achieving inclusive growth and sustainable development. Some recommendations include organising the 2nd ASEM Ministerial Conference on Energy Security, engaging more Asian ASEM Partners in energy cooperation with their counterparts in Europe, particularly the European Union (EU), establishing policy framework to promote and commercialise Asia-Europe research outcomes, and keeping hard connectivity option open while strengthening soft connectivity.
This publication is the second volume of the ASEF Outlook Reports 2016/2017. Both reports can be found on the following links:
Volume I: Data on Connectivity : http://asef.org/pubs/asef-publications/3861-asef-outlook-report-2016/2017
Volume II: Connecting Asia and Europe : http://asef.org/pubs/asef-publications/3891-asef-outlook-report-2016/2017-2
Margareth Sembiring. "Chapter 3.3: “Energy Security and Connectivity in Asia and Europe”, in ASEF Outlook Report 2016/2017, CONNECTIVITY: Facts and Perspectives, Volume II: Connecting Asia and Europe edited by Sunkyoung Lee, 2016. (Singapore: Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF))
Last updated on 04/07/2016