Pushing for Energy Security and Trade in the Region
CAREC Energy Sector Coordinating Committee Meeting
28-29 September 2012
CAREC energy sector focal points met in Bangkok to be updated on the Energy Action Plan 2009-2012 completion report and to discuss the sector's work plan for 2013-2015. For details, visit the event page.
The CAREC countries are rich in natural resources, but uneven distribution and inadequate infrastructure mean some countries continue to face shortages. Regional energy cooperation is an opportunity for
- integration of energy markets to overcome the impact of uneven distribution of energy resources;
- efforts to optimize existing energy interrelationships; and
- efforts to develop least-cost solutions to energy constraints.
Energy cooperation is stimulated by the availability of attractive energy markets in eastern and southern People's Republic of China, Pakistan, India, and Iran, along with new strategic transit opportunities for oil and gas through Turkey, Georgia, and the Russian Federation.
CAREC's Strategy for Regional Cooperation in the Energy Sector and Energy Action Plan Framework seek to enable
- energy security through the balanced development of the region's energy infrastructure and institutions, stronger integration of the region’s energy markets to make available adequate volumes of commercial energy to all in a reliable, affordable, financially sustainable and environmentally sound manner; and
- economic growth through energy trade.
[Energy-related materials can be accessed at Senior Officials' Meetings and Energy Sector Coordinating Committee (ESCC) meetings.]
Three Pillars of the Energy Action Plan
The Action Plan, in particular, explores opportunities for regional integration through power development. Its outputs cover investments, knowledge and capacity building, and policy development. The plan is structured through three strategic pillars:
- Energy demand/supply balance and infrastructure constraints. This pillar directly addresses the most efficient use of energy resources across the region to meet the needs of its people in a reliable, affordable, financially sustainable, and environmentally sound manner. A diagnostic study was carried out to serve as an initial basis for a regional power sector master plan and identify the investment needs in generation and transmission.
- Regional dispatch and regulatory development. This pillar directly focuses on sector restructuring, regulation, and contractual arrangements. It covers the policy and institutional needs to facilitate energy security, trade, and the efficient transit across Central Asia. A short-term study was conducted to give a preliminary assessment of the opportunities and challenges in strengthening electricity dispatch and system operations across the region.
- Energy–water linkages. This pillar calls for a strong analytical base to support coordinated management of energy and water resources. Hydropower brings a valuable dimension to the region’s energy assets and its distribution in Central Asia raises complexities of transboundary water management. A preliminary study looked at the conceptual approach to develop a decision support system to understand energy–water interactions and dependencies.