APEC’s Energy Working Group (EWG), launched in 1990, seeks to maximize the energy sector's contribution to the economic and social well-being of the people in the APEC region, while mitigating the environmental effects of energy supply and use.
A Strategic Plan for 2019–2023 guides the group’s work. The EWG’s mission is to build the capacity of APEC members to strengthen domestic and regional energy security, as well as lower the carbon intensity of energy supply and use across the region, facilitated by information and data exchanges, joint research and development, and open trade and investment.
Importance of energy cooperation
The APEC region accounts for around 60 percent of world energy demand and includes four of the world's five largest energy users (China; Japan; Russia; and the United States). In 2016, APEC economies consumed the equivalent of over 8,043 million tons of oil worth of energy (Mtoe), and was a net energy importer of over 530 Mtoe.
According to a report—APEC Energy Demand and Supply Outlook (7th Edition), produced by the Asia Pacific Energy Research Centre—the final energy demand of APEC economies by 2050 will increase by 21 percent above 2016 levels. While this highlights the region’s ability to decouple energy demand from economic growth, over 80 percent of the region’s primary energy demand in 2050 will likely be met by fossil fuels, according to the report’s forecast, if APEC economies take a business-as-usual approach. Carbon dioxide emissions from fuel combustion are expected to rise 6 percent over the period.
The outlook report also shows that APEC is on track in reaching its aspirational goal of reducing energy intensity by 45 percent by 2029—six years ahead of the scheduled year, 2035 (with 2005 as the baseline year). However, in a business-as-usual scenario, APEC will be unable to achieve the goal of doubling the share of renewables in the energy mix by 2030.
Four expert groups assist the EWG:
- Clean Fossil Energy (EGCFE)
- Energy Data and Analysis (EGEDA)
- Energy Efficiency and Conservation (EGEEC)
- New and Renewable Energy Technologies (EGNRET)
Two subsidiary research bodies further support the EWG:
- Asia Pacific Energy Research Centre (APERC) – established in July 1996 in Tokyo, as an affiliate of the Institute of Energy Economics, Japan (IEEJ), in accordance with the Osaka Action Agenda adopted by APEC Economic Leaders in 1995.
- The APEC Sustainable Energy Centre (APSEC) – established in 2015 at Tianjin University, China, following endorsement by APEC Economic Leaders in Beijing in 2014.
Partnership with other energy forums
The EWG collaborates with other international energy fora on a broad range of issues, including maritime energy transport security, emergency preparedness, energy efficiency, and clean energy technology. The International Energy Agency (IEA) (2021-2023) and the International Copper Association (ICA) (2021-2023) have guest status in the EWG.
Many other organizations and stakeholders, such as the Collaborative Labelling and Appliance Standards Program (CLASP) and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), are also working with APEC Expert Groups and projects on specific energy challenges.
Energy Ministers Meeting
APEC Energy Ministers last met in Cebu, Philippines, on 13 October 2015. They issued the Cebu Declaration and Instructions. Ministers emphasized the importance of energy resiliency in the face of the effects of man-made and natural disasters and established a new Energy Working Group Task Force to take this work forward. Ministers also welcomed the new APEC Initiative for Enhancing the Quality of Electric Power Infrastructure, taking various factors into consideration, including resilience to disasters, lifecycle costs and environmental impacts. Ministers also instructed officials to implement an APEC Green Energy Finance Initiative in support of the financial sustainability of renewable energy and energy efficiency development in the region. See this news release for more information.
Sub-Fund for Energy Efficiency, Low-Carbon and Energy Resiliency Measures
Since 2009 an APEC Sub-Fund for Energy Efficiency, Low-Carbon and Energy Resiliency Measures has been maintained with contributions from the government of Japan. This sub-fund continues to support a wide range of energy-related technical capacity-building projects supporting cooperation between APEC members. The general procedures for applying for APEC project funding are available here.
The EWG offers an optional review process for project planners who wish to apply for the Energy Efficiency, Low-Carbon and Energy Resiliency Measures Sub-fund as per this EWG Project Process Map. The next deadline for submission of draft project concept notes to the relevant EWG Expert Group/Task Force Secretariats (copying the APEC Secretariat) for this optional review will be announced later this year, for Project Session 1 of 2022. It is recommended that project applications be discussed with the EWG representative of the lead economy for the project before submission.
Last page update: July 2021
At the latest meeting of the Virtual Energy Working Group (EWG61) hosted by Brunei Darussalam in June 2020, members reviewed progress towards their goals and charted the way ahead for collaboration, including through APEC’s energy projects.
The EWG will continue to increase its focus on responding to natural and man-made resiliency challenges for energy infrastructure and networks. Capacity-building activities to improve the analytical, technical, operational and policy capacity of APEC economies will continue through workshops, information exchanges, training, best practice guides, peer reviews and other activities. Additional emphasis will be placed on exercise training for oil and gas emergencies and further efforts on clean and efficient use of fossil energy to address continued energy demand growth in the Asia-Pacific region.
During the reporting period (i.e., between September 2019 to August 2020)
- 13 EWG projects were completed
- 16 EWG projects commenced
- 23 EWG reports were published on the APEC website
- 9 EWG project workshops were held
- 2 EWG peer reviews were held
- 2 EWG plenary and 8 EWG sub-fora meetings were held
Other highlights include:
- Monitoring the progress of APEC’s aspirational goals on energy, including energy intensity reduction goal and renewable energy doubling goal.
- Energy security: the EWG decided to modernize APEC’s Energy Security Initiative at the 58th EWG meeting in October 2019, and the draft document was discussed at the 59th, 60th and 61st EWG meetings. At the 61st EWG meeting, the revised Energy Security Initiative will continue to be coordinated within small groups. Interested economies are welcomed to volunteer to join the small group meeting intersessionally.
- Renewable energy: works include a roadmap to double the share of renewable energy in the APEC region as well as various projects focusing on technologies and regulatory frameworks.
- Energy efficiency: works include the Peer Review on Energy Efficiency, as well as projects focusing on energy efficiency in building sector, energy efficient appliances, and regulatory issues.
- Clean fossil fuels: works include the Peer Review in Efficient Power, and activities under the Oil and Gas Security Initiative. Start discussion of a new priority and rename of the expert group to cover hydrogen.
- Low-carbon cities: works include initiatives to promote the Low Carbon Model Town (LCMT), including the wrap-up LCMT Symposium will be held in September 2021, and focused feasibility studies for volunteer towns, approved in June 2020.
- Energy resiliency: work streams include grid resilience, strengthening infrastructure, energy-water nexus, and energy access. APEC Energy Resiliency Principle and Energy Access Paper were endorsed by EWG at its 59th meeting in August 2020. Follow-up activities are expected through the project implementation of EWG 07 2020A