More than 250 participants from 27 countries are taking part in the inaugural digital edition of the Singapore-IEA Regional Training Programme on Sustainable Energy Policies for Smart Cities. Taking place from 7-10 September 2020, this Programme brings together policy makers, urban planners and academia to look at improving energy efficiency in cities and to formulate policies that meet local urban energy challenges.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates that Southeast Asia’s electricity demand is set to grow at an average rate of 4% annually, based on today’s policy settings. This could result in a doubling of demand by 2040 from 2019 levels. The growth is driven by urbanisation, industrialisation and rising consumption by a growing middle class. This presents a golden opportunity for Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) cities to adopt smart, low-carbon solutions and meet rising energy demand in the most efficient way possible.
The four-day online training programme will feature experts from the IEA and Singapore government agencies, such as the Centre for Liveable Cities and Land Transport Authority. Insights on key themes of integrated spatial and transport planning, sustainable municipal services and distributed energy resources will be shared. Representatives from the Sustainable Energy Development Authority of Malaysia and the World Bank will also be presenting their experiences.
Mr Ngiam Shih Chun, Chief Executive of the Energy Market Authority (EMA), said: “The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the global economy has been unprecedented and the energy sector has not been spared. Despite the challenges, we must not lose sight of our efforts towards a low-carbon energy future. To better manage rising energy demand in Southeast Asia, the EMA and the IEA have designed a training programme to build capacity and enhance knowledge sharing to support the region’s energy transition.”
Dr Fatih Birol, the IEA’s Executive Director, said: “Through this event, we have brought together thought leaders of today and tomorrow from across all levels of government to train them in the best ways that Southeast Asia can embrace renewables and energy efficiency to accelerate clean energy transitions in its cities. The IEA’s online training programmes and knowledge-sharing community are key to our commitment to making our expertise open and accessible to all.”
The training programme is the fourth activity under the Singapore-IEA Regional Training Hub initiative, which was launched in 2016 when Singapore became an Association Country of the IEA. The programme represents a key milestone in establishing a network of energy professionals and urban practitioners to facilitate knowledge exchange and harness cities’ innovative and operational capabilities in clean energy transitions.
Singapore and the IEA will next co-host the 2nd Global Ministerial Conference on System Integration of Renewables on 27 October 2020, which is being held in conjunction with the 13th Singapore International Energy Week. The IEA’s new Electricity Security report will be launched at the Ministerial Conference.