More than 150 researchers, experts and leaders of leading energy groups from 20 countries attended the 2012 Pacific Energy Summit in Hanoi from March 20-22.
The summit, themed “Innovative Generation: Powering a Prosperous Asia” was jointly held by the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam and the National Bureau of Asia Research of the US.
Asia is currently facing huge challenges due to increasing demand for electricity to meet economic development target. Regional countries must quickly reform the energy system using new and renewable energy sources and extend the power network to rural areas and less developed areas to maintain a high economic growth rate, sustainable development and environmental protection.
Delegates suggested that Asian governments facilitate investment in developing new sources of energy supply, apply new energy production technologies and use energy in an efficient and economical way.
Participants recognised the importance of establishing a free and competitive electricity market. Governments need to have specific policies for power generation market development and detailed documents guiding activities of those involved in the market, devise transparent legal frameworks and establish independent energy monitoring agencies.
They pointed out major challenges in determining electricity, coal and liquefied gas prices. At present, they said, an electricity price lower than production price has caused many companies to fall into financial instability and created an unfavourable competitive environment, reducing investor confidence and discouraging the involvement of private sector and foreign investors in the sector.
Determining a power price in accordance with market mechanisms will help build a just environment and fair competition, they said.
They also cited effective energy cooperation between India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal in South Asia and between Vietnam and China and neighbouring countries in the greater Mekong subregion.
In the Asia-Pacific, APEC put forward an orientation to enhance energy security, effectively use energy and increase the supply of clean energy in the region. Meanwhile, the UN has defined 2012 as Sustainable Energy Year for all countries.
Delegates showed interest in nuclear power development in Asia and put forward proposals to devise energy policies for Vietnam and regional countries to promote sustainable economic development.