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Friday, May 19, 2017, 23:43
Expert calls for Asia energy cooperation under Belt and Road Initiative
By chinadailyasia.com
Friday, May 19, 2017, 23:43 By chinadailyasia.com


Dr. Patrick Ho, Deputy Chairman and Secretary General of China Energy Fund Committee, delivers a speech during the 2017 International Forum on Sustainable Development of Energy in Beijing on May 19, 2017. (Provided to China Daily)


An energy expert has called for cooperation on energy among Asian countries to address rising energy demand in the region and to maintain autonomy on energy matters.

During the 2017 International Forum on Sustainable Development of Energy in Beijing on Friday, Dr. Patrick Ho, Deputy Chairman and Secretary General of China Energy Fund Committee, put forward the Belt and Road Asia Energy Cooperation Initiative to strengthen energy cooperation among Asian countries.

Ho pointed out the various pricing for natural gas in the three main global markets — North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. In the booming North American market, gas prices are priced according to competition between different gas sources. In Europe, gas prices and oil prices are linked, but gas prices have declined in the recent years due to the introduction of market pricing mechanisms. Meanwhile, most Asia-Pacific countries import by sea liquefied natural gas, the prices of which are linked to those of crude oil. The transportation costs and oil prices have led to higher gas prices in Asia than in Europe, resulting in price discrimination, commonly known as the "Asian premium", Ho explained.

Dr. Patrick Ho (center), Deputy Chairman and Secretary General of China Energy Fund Committee, attends the 2017 International Forum on Sustainable Development of Energy in Beijing on May 19, 2017. (Provided to China Daily)

He suggested establishing an Asian energy cooperation platform to satisfy the interests of Asian countries and to address the region's lack of pricing power and a coordinating institution. 

He put forward six aspects to the Belt and Road Asia Energy Cooperation Initiative: setting up a business-led regional energy cooperation platform to promote all-round energy cooperation among think tanks, civil society and officials in the region; establishing regional natural gas reserves and system of sharing, distribution and complementation; integrating energy infrastructure within the region to achieve the integration of electric grids; establishing a new-energy development fund and sharing the latest achievements of energy technology; formation of a regional trading platform to coordinate natural gas contracts and prices; and using the renminbi as the clearing currency for energy trade in the region.

Reckoning that Asian countries will be the engine for the world's economic development, Ho said China, India and ASEAN members will contribute over half of growth in global primary energy consumption by 2040. With the global shift towards promoting sustainable development and clean energy, natural gas, a relatively clean fossil fuel, is an option for bridging traditional fossil fuels and new energy sources, Ho said.

Under the ever growing challenges of energy security and sustainable development, the BRI is creating huge opportunities for energy interconnectivity in Asia. Asian countries should seize the opportunity to widely consult, jointly contribute and share benefits, Ho added. 

The 2017 International Forum on Sustainable Development of Energy is held in Beijing on May 19, 2017. The forum aimed at building a platform for international energy industries to communicate on sustainable development. (Provided to China Daily)

The International Forum on Sustainable Development of Energy was jointly organized by United Nations Office for Sustainable Development (UNOSD) and other organizations. It aimed at building a platform for international energy industries to communicate on sustainable development.

China Energy Fund Committee (CEFC) is a non-governmental, non-profit civil society organization whcih serves as a high-end strategic think tank in energy research and global energy cooperation.

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