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 tHe Chair

In collaboration from the Ministry of Energy, Ministry of Transportation and the Ministry of Science and Technology of the Royal Thai Government,  I am pleased to announce that we jointly endorse SETA 2020 : Asia’s premier regional assembly on strategic energy issues.  SETA 2020, convening this year as a virtual conference, 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  perspectives  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 : seeing as it is the lifeline of all economic development – spanning transportation, manufacturing, 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 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 energy systems.  As in the previous four editions since 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.

Dr Tatchai Sumitra
Chairman, Organizing Committee SETA 2020