APEF Subregional Consultation Meeting for South and South-West Asia
The South and South-West Asia Subregional Preparatory Consultation Meeting for the Asia-Pacific Energy Forum 2013 was held on 6 and 7 November 2012 in New Delhi, India. This meeting was co-organized by ESCAP's Environment and Development Division and the Subregional Office for South and South-West Asia.
In addition to the Secretariat, 31 participants, including Government-nominated experts, technical experts, and subregional organizations participated in the Consultation. The countries represented were Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Islamic Republic of Iran, Maldives, Nepal, Turkey, Sri Lanka and Pakistan.
A presentation was made of a background study prepared by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), India for the consultation on behalf of ESCAP on perspectives and challenges to enhancing energy security and the sustainable use of energy in South and South-West Asia. The participants made presentations of their countries' energy situation and the policy challenges faced, which served as a basis for discussions in the meeting and to identify key common issues in the subregion.
The participants noted that South and South-West Asia is characterized by a diversity in national energy profiles. Given the high dependence on imports of hydrocarbons (except Islamic Republic of Iran), their economic dynamism will imply rising fuel import bills in the future. In addition, there is an uneven distribution of energy resources and a large proportion of the population of the subregion remains without access to modern energy services. The priorities of poverty reduction and the productive use of locally available energy resources are perceived as key drivers to improving access to modern energy services.
The subregion is also endowed with substantial renewable energy resources that play a small but increasing complementary role, and has the capacity to diversify energy sources using locally available wind, solar, hydropower and biomass resources. However, countries highlighted the technical, commercial and market risks in harnessing these resources. Institutional mechanisms differ across the member States of the subregion, although at the same time, regional cooperation initiatives such as the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) and the Iran-Pakistan/Iran-Pakistan-India (IP/IPI) gas pipelines and cross-border power grids provide an opportunity for enhancing energy security.