APEC’s Role in Sustainable Energy Development
Mr. Pengcheng Li, Director of CNIS (China) and Chair of the APEC Expert Group on Energy Efficiency & Conservation (EGEE&C), recently took part in the 50th anniversary meeting of the EGEE&C held at HSE Moscow. Following the event, he spoke with the HSE News Service about some of the topics covered, including the role he sees Russia playing in sustainable energy development.
— Why was the 50th anniversary meeting of APEC Expert Group on Energy Efficiency & Conservation held in Russia?
— We greatly appreciate Russia’s kind offer to host EGEE&C as part of Russia Energy Week 2017. Most APEC economies are interested in the progress of energy efficiency and energy conservation in Russia. This meeting was a good opportunity to enhance Russia’s connection with other APEC economies regarding energy efficiency and energy conservation.
— What are some of the key trends in the global agenda and topics that come up in expert and political communities when energy efficiency issues are being discussed?
— In all economies, energy efficiency has become a priority when it comes to energy policy. According to IEA analysts, energy efficiency will provide the biggest contribution to the 2-degree target under the Paris Agreement. It should also be remembered that energy efficiency not only contributes to improving the environment, but it is also a tool to improve productivity and increase quality of life – for example, through reduced energy bills for consumers.
— How do you assess Russia’s capacity, experience and initiatives in the area of energy efficiency and energy conservation? How can clean energy be provided to regions with low population density to foster their economic development in a way that is economically affordable and technically feasible?
— I think Russia shows its ambition to improve energy efficiency and has made a commitment to reducing greenhouse gases in the Paris Agreement. Frankly, we hope to see more impressive policies and programmes in energy efficiency. We understand Russia’s concerns in sustainable energy development in remote areas. We think systematic and customized solutions integrating energy efficiency, renewable energy and traditional energy to achieve a high level of efficiency across the entire energy system is very attractive for most APEC economies. We look forward to Russia leading the dialogue and presenting high level outcomes to APEC leadership.
— Which Russian studies on energy efficiency and energy conservation interest you – particularly in view of the common goals and objectives that APEC economies seek to achieve?
— We think the big data analysis of energy efficiency and energy conservation is very impressive. It forecast technology evolution and essential topics in energy efficiency and energy conservation in a very efficient manner. We hope that Russia can present those findings in the APEC Energy Working Group and provide capacity building to other APEC economies.
— What role do the instruments of evidence-based science, technology and innovation (STI) policy, such as foresight, monitoring global trends, and big data analysis play in setting the new energy agenda?
— I think energy efficiency will face a revolution in the near future. IT technology, big data analysis, and artificial intelligence will change the path of energy efficiency. We believe smart appliances will improve energy efficiency across the entire system when we have a better understanding of the demand side. Big data analysis will be an essential component in the energy management system, which can help factories greatly improve energy efficiency and productivity.
— How do you assess the potential for S&T cooperation between the APEC economies in the area of sustainable energy system development?
— If you reviewed the APEC funded project recently, you will see that most projects covered cross-cutting topics to improve the energy efficiency of the entire energy system. I think there is great potential in S&T cooperation in sustainable energy systems. We saw that there has been a lot of cooperation following the initiation of the APEC platform. So we look forward to Russia’s proposal aimed at demonstrating the success of S&T cooperation between APEC economies in developing sustainable energy systems in remote areas.
— In your view, how can society be motivated to switch to more efficient models of energy consumption and energy saving? What have been some of the more successful examples from international experience?
— I think the public awareness is the most important driver of energy efficiency. We know that Japan has good education and an awareness programme covering kids, factories and families. The education programme in school has resulted in tremendous energy managers at home. It is a very interesting way to improve awareness of an entire society.
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