01 September 2016

    A session on global energy and efforts to achieve energy efficiency was held at the Russia–ASEAN University Forum, which is taking place on the margins of the Eastern Economic Forum.

    Moderator Igbal Guliyev, who is Deputy Director of the International Institute of Energy Policy and Diplomacy at MGIMO University, proposed a discussion of energy issues, research in the field, and the impact of the energy industry on our future in light of global economic, social, and cultural trends.

    Russia and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are seeking partnership, including between universities, educational institutions, and research centres working in the field of energy efficiency and energy saving. These areas of focus have the potential to drive not only the entire energy sector, but also Russian industry as a whole.

    The state of the energy sector largely defines a country’s competiveness, level of social development, environmental quality, and living standards.

    Investments in energy take a long time to pay off. The wrong choice of direction for the development of the energy industry may lead to substantial economic losses and increasing economic backwardness. It is essential to focus on long-term trends in the energy industry and to lay the scientific and technological groundwork for reaching a new level of technology.

    Anton Inyutsin, Deputy Minister of Energy of the Russian Federation, explained that the fuel and energy sector and energy efficiency both play a strategic role for Russia and ASEAN. It is essential to involve universities and students in cooperation with these countries in order to generate innovative and vital proposals in the areas discussed at the forum.

    Southeast Asia is a steadily developing and important element in the energy landscape. Since 1990, energy consumption in the region has increased by 250% and demand continues to grow at a constant pace.

    ASEAN countries are serious about the challenges ahead. They have adopted a joint action plan for the period up to 2025. It includes seven areas for collaboration: electricity systems, the trans-ASEAN gas pipeline, clean coal technology, energy efficiency, renewable energy, regional energy policies, and nuclear power (atoms for peace).

    This plan opens up a window of opportunity for energy cooperation with Russia on a new level. Russia is a reliable energy exporter and is efficiently developing the corresponding infrastructure, including in the Asia-Pacific region.

    The Russian energy network covers 11 time zones and includes the full range of energy resources. Our experience could be highly in demand in ASEAN countries, and contribute to implementation of the Paris Agreement on climate change. Mr Inyutsin also noted that Russia supports the expansion of the renewable energy sector and the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions. The national plan envisages a 70% reduction in emissions by 2030, compared with 1990 levels.

    Today, about 50% of energy in Russia is generated without the use of carbon; i.e. through hydro and nuclear power, and renewable energy sources. Russia is developing wind and solar power. We are also using associated petroleum gas to increase energy efficiency. By 2035, we plan to reduce the energy intensity of Russia’s GDP by 1.6 times compared with 2014.

    The ongoing technological revolution in the energy sector is giving the world a chance to build a decent future. Russia needs to increase the energy efficiency of educational institutions. Academic collaboration between Russia and ASEAN in the field of energy can be an effective means of verifying forecasts and scientific research. This will require the creation of national expert centres at universities.

    Bundhit Eua-arporn, President of Chulalongkorn University (Thailand), added that the future of the energy industry should be discussed alongside economic, environmental, and social issues. Energy efficiency is connected to recent trends such as climate change, migration, and new technologies. It will play an increasingly important role in the future, since energy consumption is only set to grow. It is essential that we use energy-saving technologies and adopt appropriate policies. Implementing energy-saving programmes is a very labour-intensive process, due to changing motivations for consumption and the types of energy used. We need to coordinate our efforts in this area. Russia has huge potential. In 15–20 years, ASEAN countries will be importing energy resources. We should not only save existing sources of energy, but also develop alternative energy resources.

    Galina Bogdanovich, Director of the Energy Efficiency Centre under the First Vice-Rector of the Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU) gave a presentation entitled ‘Energy Saving and Increasing Energy Efficiency at FEFU’. She noted that an energy conservation and efficiency programme created by the Energy Efficiency Committee had been adopted, aimed at cutting energy usage by 30%, an energy audit had been carried out, an FEFU energy performance certificate had been developed, and relevant programmes were being implemented.

    In his speech, Kaoru Maruta, a leading scholar from the FEFU’s International Combustion and Energy Laboratory, talked about the new combustion technologies being developed in his laboratory, with savings of up to 70%, for which he has 17 patents. According to Mr Maruta “We are a bridge between Russia and the academic community in Japan, including Tohoku University.”