In addressing the energy security of Asia, ESCAP member States in 2006, noted that the region has considerable potential for improving energy cooperation and creating region wide energy infrastructure. In this context, it noted the interest in an integrated Trans-Asian Energy System (TAES) aimed at safeguarding the supply of energy resources to final destinations within the region. The proposed vision of the TAES is "Enhanced regional energy security by promoting inter-connectivity of energy infrastructure system between energy suppliers and consumers"
The objective of the TAES is to promote enhanced energy cooperation through greater coordination and integration of the regional energy system for energy exchange and trade in support of sustainable development.
It is proposed that the system be based on utilizing the knowledge, experience and expertise accumulated by subregional initiatives with a view to facilitating better planning and coordination through insights into the optimum utilization of regional resources, exploring the potential for sharing and trading among the participation subregions. A well-coordinated system could be beneficial to all and add value to subregional initiatives in terms of (a) better and enhanced access to wider energy market for exporting countries; (b) easy access to energy supplies for countries not endowed with fossil energy resources; (c) less dependency on energy supplies from outside the region.
In moving forward with the proposed system, it is necessary to take a two-prong approach: (a) facilitate the establishment of an intergovernmental collaborative mechanism/agreement; and (b) develop and implement a pragmatic plan of action.
Against this background, the Government of the Republic of Korea has provided a grant to consult member States in fully developing the project framework. This one-year project started in May 2007.