Energy officials from the 21 APEC member economies, the world’s largest energy producing and consuming region, are empowering millennials to take newly revealed efficiency improvements to the next level.
The intensity of APEC economies’ energy consumption, a common indicator of efficiency, fell 3.5 per cent year-on-year in 2015, the latest data available and the biggest drop in a decade, according to the Asia-Pacific Energy Research Centre. The findings were presented to officials during energy policy consultations in Hong Kong, China.
It brings APEC economies’ reduction in energy consumption intensity to 17.9 per cent for the 2005-2015 period. The rate improvement moreover puts the group within reach of hitting the region’s targeted 45 per cent drop by 2035, despite increasing growth and energy use.
"Thanks to the energy intensity reduction target set by the APEC Energy Working Group, we published the Energy Saving Plan for Hong Kong, China’s Built Environment in 2015 and set our target of 40 per cent by 2025, using 2005 as the base,” noted Hong Kong, China’s Electrical and Mechanical Services Director Alfred W. H. Sit.
“It is critical that APEC economies continue to push ourselves with ambitious efficiency and conservation goals,” added Dr Jyuung-Shiauu Chern, Lead Shepherd of the APEC Energy Working Group. “We are reaching out to young people to help transform consumption habits and address the region’s changing energy dynamics.”
The focus in APEC is on raising grassroots awareness of supply, management, pollution and access challenges through innovative energy education curricula design, interactive learning tools and outreach. Examples include green campus accreditation programs, hackathons and online utility bills and apps that allow easy home energy efficiency audits and comparison.
It aligns with coordination in APEC to facilitate efficiency-boosting regulation, standards and technology deployment across communities—revolutionizing fossil-fueled power plants, building heating and cooling systems, transportation networks and electrical products such as lighting, refrigerators and freezers, among other priority areas.
“We are expanding data and experience sharing in APEC to build understanding of energy efficiency principles from a young age,” explained Dr Chern, who is also Chief of Energy Affairs at Chinese Taipei’s Energy Bureau. “Our aim is to shape attitudes and behavior to close energy sustainability gaps and power economies into tomorrow.”
Parallel APEC work is on cultivating talent pipelines to support energy innovation, in partnership with student groups and the private sector. This includes drawing upon local experiences in project development and recruitment methods such as STEM workshops and career talks, engineer experience days and industry scholarships and internships.
Representatives of CLP Power Hong Kong Limited, the Hong Kong and China Gas Company Limited, and Hongkong Electric Company Limited underscored the importance of heightening interest in energy opportunities to deliver new efficiency breakthroughs.
APEC Trade Ministers will consider ways to bolster trading conditions and accelerate this progress when they meet in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea on 25-26 May.