"The shortage of domestic energy resources and structural problems in the industry are holding back economic development in the majority of Asian nations," said Analytical Center expert Anna Lobanova, speaking at a discussion of the Regional Cooperation for Sustainable Development in the Energy Sector in the Asia Pacific report of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific.
According to the expert, the fuel and energy balance varies a great deal from country to country in the Asia-Pacific region. At the same time, a lot of the countries in the region are experiencing significant difficulties with effective management of energy resources, having to pay an arm and a leg for electricity transmission and distribution as well as having to deal with leaks of electricity, a situation that is having a detrimental effect on the competitiveness of local industrial companies. In the meantime, a lot of the countries rely on their own mineral fuels and specifically coal, which is driving up greenhouse gas emissions.
"A transformation of the energy system is a must for a lot of Asia-Pacific nations if they want to achieve efficient use of energy resources and hit the Sustainable Development Targets 2030," Ms. Lobanova said. When forecasting demand for energy resources, the governments of Asia-Pacific nations should take into account the fast-paced urbanization in the region and the fast changing makeup of consumption.
It is also important to create market conditions that would make renewable energy sources a significantly better option than traditional mineral fuels, the expert believes. It is for this reason that a lot of the Asia-Pacific nations need a reform of their energy sector - for instance, taxes and subsidies could be used to facilitate a transition to green energy.
The Regional Cooperation for Sustainable Development in the Energy Sector in the Asia Pacific report will be presented at the 73rd Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific session in May 2017.