Re-thinking Asia’s Energy Strategies: Beyond COVID-19

With COVID-19 the world has plunged into an unprecedented economic crisis. This has affected many industries across board, and one of the worst hit of all sectors, is energy – undoubtedly so, as it is pivotal to a wide spectrum of industries, interactions and development both regionally and globally.

With this, Asia’s energy landscape in the ‘new normal’ presents new and challenging dynamics. Energy consumption has decreased as a result of the slump. There is a slowing down of emerging markets like India and China whose economies are high-energy dependent. These two countries have seen tremendous growth in the last several years particularly with rapid industrialization, and infrastructural growth and an almost unbridled escalation of urbanisation. In the new normal, how will the balance in the demand and supply of energy pan out? Another consideration is that the looming extended recession is likely to see many countries scale back on international trade and travel, and shift towards a self-sufficiency economy. Other broader implications that may bear upon the energy industry indirectly though, would be geopolitical trends including the global economy, oil prices, resource reliance on the Middle East.

Until COVID-19, Asia has been looking towards a more viable strategy for its energy needs – adapting to newly emerging technologies that would pave the way towards a system that is safer and more reliable as well as cleaner and healthier: both to save the environment  and to sustain the quality of life for its people. With COVID-19, as governments strive to first revive and strengthen their economies, would the ‘greening’ initiative be compromised? What does the future hold for Asia’s journey into new energy solutions in the aftermath, in the new normal?

As a sequel to its four successful assemblies from 2016 to 2019, SETA 2020 sets the stage to bring to light these critical issues, deliberate on them to arrive at new perspectives, and possibly solutions to help Asia’s energy sector ride through the impact of the economic fall out. Presented as its first ever virtual conference SETA 2020 is appropriately themed “The Energy Landscape The New Normal Beyond COVID-19”. It will convene in Bangkok, Thailand from 12 to 15 October 2020.

For SETA 2020, GAT is collaborating with Enlit Asia 2020 to produce a high powered conference on energy solutions beyond COVID-19.  Enlit Asia is the unifying brand of POWERGEN Asia and Asian Utility Week. POWERGEN has taken place across Asia, including China, Hong Kong, Vietnam and Singapore and more recently in South Korea, Thailand, and in 2018 in Indonesia where it attracted a record-breaking 9,200 attendees. Asian Utility Week, with a 20 year track record, is the only event in Asia that focusses on utility digital transformation and digital energy efficiency.The resources and expertise of these two industry giants will considerably enhance the direction and content of SETA 2020.

Jointly, they will to help bring together high level thought leaders, industry giants, strategic stake holders and players together to expound on Asia’s rapidly hanging energy landscape : Identifying its challenges, projecting future needs and exploring opportunities in the new horizon.

Welcome Message frOm THAILAND MINISTRY OF ENERGY

On behalf of the Ministry of Energy, Thailand (MOEN), we would like to welcome all participants to SETA 2020 Virtual Event, which will convene as a virtual conference in Bangkok, Thailand from 12th to 15th October, 2020. SETA has, in previous years, addressed a wide spectrum of important issues relating to  energy industry in Asia Pacific. For this year, it will further continue to do the same, under the theme of “Re-Thinking Asia The Energy Landscape from New Normal – Beyond COVID-19”. The conference will also address the economic impact and potential solutions for the energy industrial sector to cope with the on-going COVID-19 pandemic situation.

On a wider perspective, the pandemic has seen global energy consumption dipping as evidenced by falling energy prices particularly in oil and gas.  In turn, there has been a new spate of initiatives gearing toward ‘green energy’. This can clearly be linked to COVID-19 impact such as curbs on travel, manufacturing slow-down and a host of lifestyle changes. At the same time, countries are all caught in urgent recovery process to restore their economies – and during this, where will be the priorities for energy issues?

To deliberate on these challenges and identify solutions that will help the energy sector steer above the crisis towards safe, affordable, and sustainable energy. We are confident that the assembly of leading representatives from both the government agencies and the private sectors, at this SETA 2020, will lead us towards this objective through their high-powered deliberations.

MR SUPATTANAPONG PUNMEECHAOW
Deputy Prime Minister and Energy Minister

Welcome Message frOm tHe Chair

On behalf of the organizing committee, may I extend a very warm welcome to all participants to this virtual SETA 2020 Conference and Exhibition. This year's Event sees our delegates, exhibitors, speakers, participants stationed in every corner of the World. Thank you everyone for joining us in this difficult time. I would also like to thank our sponsors whose support is critical to the growing success of SETA (Sustainable Energy and Technology Asia).

Due to the pandemic COVID 19 this year edition is forced to be different. Everything is virtual: Conference, Exhibition, Business Matching, etc. Our innovative organizing team has worked hard to conceptualize the Event in such a way to retain the format of the former SETA Events while eliminating the physical presence of people and materials. You can participate in SETA 2020 Conference from anywhere, you can visit the displays of our exhibitors from anywhere and can have discussion and business matchings from anywhere as well. Some says that the good old flavor of face to face interaction of SETA may be somewhat lost but I personally think that this Virtual Event opens up a more flexible and a more efficient way of doing conferences and exhibitions so I would also like to thank all my colleagues and co-members of the organizing committee for their dedication and hard work.

Distinguished participants, ladies and gentlemen,I am pleased to announce that the Ministry of Energy, Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology and Innovation of the Royal Thai Government have kindly endorsed SETA 2020, Asia’s premier regional assembly on strategic energy issues, which is most appropriately themed “Re-thinking Asia’s Energy Strategies – Beyond COVID 19”.  The post-COVID world economy faces tremendous challenges and uncertainties. Both government and private sector leaders across the globe are reviewing the difficult situation to identify new strategies that can combat the economic collapse and its ripple effects. Perhaps the energy sector faces the most critical of these challenges - as it is the lifeline of all economic development – spanning power generation, transport, manufacturing, business, building and infrastructure, and ultimately the livelihood and wellness of its people and the environment. At SETA 2020, several pertinent questions on energy issues will take the centre-stage. How are industry dynamics evolving because of COVID-19? Would the pre-COVID energy policies and strategies continue to be effective? What priorities should take place: recovery and restoration, or innovation vis-à-vis the paramount push towards safe, reliable and cost-effective green energy systems. As in the previous four editions since the year 2016, SETA 2020 promises to be a high-powered forum that will facilitate these and other crucial questions and issues in the energy domain. Through this dynamic forum from 12 to 15 October 2020 in Bangkok Thailand, I am confident that new thoughts and perspectives, as well as collaborative initiatives, will emerge. It is therefore with great pleasure that I extend a warm welcome to all the key representatives from governments, industry giants, thought leaders and experts in the energy industry to join SETA 2020. Together let us ‘re-think’ towards greater growth and development in the ‘new normal’ for the energy sector. Thank you everyone for joining.

Dr Tatchai Sumitra
Chairman, Organizing Committee SETA 2020