Establishment of Energy Cooperation System East Asia
The economic growth and its sustainability of any developing and developed country are dependent on the basis of its energy requirements (Lincoln, 2004). The countries in East Asian region are also no exception. The energy requirements of the region are swelling with the increased focus on its development. The regional focus has also established grounds for the political and industry leaders to focus on the requirements and prepare their countries for future energy needs. The region is also dependent on the energy imports especially the fuel for energy including oil and gas. The increasing energy production requirements are also creating an issue for the local governments to manage the energy prices within the affordable range of its consumers.
The local cooperation among various countries in the region is affected by the political and territorial issues. However the regional cooperation organizations are working on the initiatives to share their knowledge and expertise to develop a mechanism for energy cooperation. The East Asian Summit and ASEAN have also taken various initiatives to work with the member countries in developing local energy sustainability. The initiatives are also focused on working together to highlight the renewable energy corridors as well as energy conservation programs. The energy security issues in East Asia are discussed in detail along with the present and future state of energy cooperation among the countries in the region. The details of energy cooperation system are also highlighted in the relevant sections.
Current Status of Energy Cooperation:
The current needs of energy are fulfilled through imports in East Asian region. The countries have principally agreed to develop a regional cooperation on various forums including ASEAN. The energy cooperation through development common infrastructure, energy, and Trans East-Asian network is agreed by the members of ASEAN. In such respect the role of China, Russia, and Iran cannot be undermined to promote local coordination. The ASEAN forum has also initiated various energy related initiates including the development of stable supply system of energy to all member states. The East Asia Summit in 2007 has also highlighted the need of cooperation in terms of joint development of energy resources, transfer of technology to increase energy efficacy, and focus on developing alternative energy sources. The countries are also coordinating with each other on transfer of information and technology to reduce environmental impact of energy production (Nakamura, 2009).
Energy Security Issues in East Asia:
Energy security is among notable geo-political issues within East Asia. The countries are facing serious crisis situations due to fast paced developments and increased industrialization. The pace of development in East Asia is relatively higher than United States, United Kingdom, and Europe. The result of increased urbanization and industrialization has initiated various energy issues including the ever increasing requirements, dependence on imports for energy, and political situations. Moreover the countries also require a dependable and sustainable energy system that can provide inexpensive energy.
Dependence on Imports of Energy:
The developed economies of East Asia including Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, and Hong Kong are growing at a phenomenal pace as compared with other developing countries. The energy requirements are also increasing. The countries are widely dependent on the imports of energy sources. It is observed that more than 80% of their energy needs are fulfilled through imported sources of energy (Dent, 2008). The regional energy needs are focused towards Northeast Asia. The countries are actively seeking energy security within the region in order to sustain their growth. The focus will become region specific rather than imports from other regions.
The political conflicts between countries including China, Japan, India, Pakistan, and Iran are posing serious threats for the energy situation. The countries are widely dependent on the imported and expensive sources of energy. They are developing a mechanism to corporate within their region to share their energy objectives despite their optical differences and territorial issues. The energy cooperation under ASEAN is also an example of cooperating with each other in securing energy requirements for their needs. The cooperation of China and Japan in energy as well as India and China's political issues aside energy is their central focus of attention in current situations.
Sustainable Energy Supply System:
The energy cooperation framework devised through ASEAN +3 is also an example of developing a sustainable energy supply system. The major issues addressed through the framework include an interdependent system for accommodating oil supplies in emergency. Furthermore the member countries are also determined to setup an oil reserve system. The joint research of oil market in member countries is also addressed along with the improvement in energy efficacy. The countries are also focusing their attention for developing resources for natural gas. These key areas are under expert focus since 2003 in ASEAN countries (Fujita, Kuroiwa, & Kumagai, 2011).
Inexpensive Energy Supply System:
The energy sources fuel mix is also one of the major factors that influence a country's growth. The East Asian countries are mostly dependent on the imported fuels as a result the cost of energy production is affected as a result the price of energy impacts their growth and production. The countries are focusing on developing a fuel mix that provides low cost energy production. In this respect the energy production is directed towards renewable energy sources. The weather conditions and natural availability of renewable energy sources is an advantage for the countries. It is also noted that the countries are focusing on coal, natural gas, and nuclear energy sources to reduce cost of energy production (Fujita, et al., 2011).
Energy Corporation System:
The presence of a system to cooperate with each other in energy sector is one of the major requirements for East Asian countries. The mechanism for cooperation is established through ASEAN +3 frameworks as an initial step. The countries are also cooperating under APEC, ASEAN, and ASEAN +3 frameworks to develop a system in cooperating for energy requirements.
Joint stockpiling of energy source:
According to Lugg, and Hong, (2010) the joint stockpiling of energy sources in East Asia are one of the top agenda for the countries present in the area. The countries are focused to develop awareness and focus of their governments towards developing a system that promotes exploration of natural results within the region with mutual cooperation. The ministerial initiatives of ASEAN are also an example of such efforts. The countries agree that the regional development and stockpiling of natural resources can cater their long-term interests and reduce dependence on importing fuels for energy. The countries are required to take initiatives in creating a local harmony in sharing their resources and reserves not only at the time of emergency but a continuous cooperation can also help in eliminating the regional issues concerning energy production.
Joint development of oil natural gas field:
Malaysia, Indonesia, and Qatar are major gas producers and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) exporters (Economides, & Wood, 2009). It is also observed that the countries are working together to develop a mutual system in exploring local natural gas reserves. The countries are Japan, India, and China is working actively to create a mechanism in developing regional cooperation and providing these reserves to other countries. Russia and Japan has a major role in creating initial cooperation and floating of the idea to share these natural resources through gas pipeline. It is also noted that the countries in Central Asia are rich in gas reserves that should be explored and utilized within the region to create sustainable energy fuel. However the interdependence and local cooperation is a compelling requirement for growth.
The countries in East Asia are diverse in their resources and capabilities to develop these resources. The countries with rich natural oil and gas reserves should also develop a mechanism to share these resources within the region with countries having expert capabilities in exploration and development of these resources. The regional harmony and creation of an effective coordination is beneficial for regional growth and sustainability. The political and other issues can also be addressed through effective economic interdependence.
Information exchange on effective usage of energy:
The sustainable energy production and requirements for information are essentially highlighted by various countries through their government initatives. The envrieonmental and energy conservation organizations are also taking an active part in the campaigns against replacing conventional energy production techniques with sustainable and renewable energy. The East Asian region has a diverse history, cultures, and climate and so are their energy consumption habits. The population in most countries rely on already developed and adopted techniques in buildings and patrens of energy consumption. However the need to change these habits as well as alignment with the energy conservation efforts is also required to assist locals. The exchange of information and creating awareness with respect to energy conservation techniques, practices, and approaches is the best way forward. The governments and non-governmental organizations should initiate educational and training programs to create awareness and provide knowledgeable insight on these issues (Dincer, & Rosen, 2012).