BATU, Indonesia. Photo by Jes Aznar

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Notes from Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR – Collaboration among Southeast Asian countries including the Philippines is crucial in securing Asia’s energy future, energy experts said yesterday here at the opening of Royal Dutch Shell’s two-day Innovation Summit.

“Meeting the challenges that accelerated change brings will require governments, academia and private enterprise to work together to find innovative ways to achieve our common goals. Co-creation and innovation are key. Innovation enables advancements. Collaboration brings the best opportunities to the table. And that’s exactly why we’re here today,” said Shell Malaysia country chairman Iain Lo in his opening remarks.

The summit opened with a discussion on the role of innovation in nation building as well as the importance of innovative collaboration to strengthen Southeast Asian nations.

Innovation and technology will play a crucial role in unlocking the energy the world needs in the coming decades.

Maarten Wetselaar, executive vice-president for Integrated Gas, Royal Dutch Shell, said gas would be the main source of energy in the world before the middle of this century.

“We believe that gas will be main source of energy in the world before this middle of this century. We see gas taking a lead role in the world. Allowing the world to produce more oil and gas is going to be crucial,” he said.

He said the growth of Asia’s megacities and fast urbanization, with increased congestion and pollution presents policymakers with a big challenge and an opportunity and that is to fuel development in an environment friendly way.

“We believe that natural gas is uniquely position to address the challenges faced by policy makers today, tomorrow and as part of a secure, competitive, affordable and sustainable energy future,” Wetselaar said.

He outlined the benefits of gas, noting that natural gas produced around half the greenhouse gas emissions compared to coal.

It also has a transformational impact on economic development for countries with large domestic gas resources.

“Finally, smarter city planning that incorporates natural gas infrastructure offers not only significant gains in efficiency but also helps to reduce total air pollution and CO2 emissions,” Wetselaar said.