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1st ASEAN International Conference on Energy and Environment: New Milestone for Stronger Triple Helix Collaboration in ASEAN

15 September 2021

Online, 15 September 2021To help and accelerate the energy transition, improve intersectoral collaboration and connect academia with and policymakers, ASEAN Centre for Energy (ACE) and its academe partner, Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD), successfully held the 1st ASEAN International Conference on Energy and Environment (AICEE) that was taken place on 15 September 2021 in conjunction with ASEAN Energy Business Forum (AEBF) 2021. The theme of this first edition of AICEE is ASEAN energy transition with resiliency in the post-pandemic climate change era.

This theme is also aligned with the ASEAN vision under the ASEAN Plan of Action for Energy Cooperation (APAEC) to pursue an optimal road map to decarbonisation and shift to low carbon energy thru energy transition efforts. In addition, to bridge the silo and pave the way forward, the short-run target of energy security and long-run sustainability target should be reconciled within the energy transition framework.

The 1st AICEE is fully supported by the ASEAN Climate Change and Energy Project (ACCEPT) – a jointly implemented project by ACE and the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI) on the event execution and the publication of the papers on the IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science.

To begin with, H.E. Dato Lim Jock Hoi, the Secretary-General of ASEAN, commenced his congratulatory remarks by expressing his expectation that AICEE will help ASEAN deal with the multifaceted climate issues and development in the energy sector as well as will give the chance to form a joint force of an interconnected goal for a secure and competitive energy future of ASEAN. This is then followed by H.E. Haji Azhar Haji Yahya, the Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Energy of Brunei Darussalam. He emphasised a solid collaboration of ASEAN members and the partners to play a critical role in achieving a lot of low carbon economy. Hence this forum will be one of the milestones to achieve such a positive collaboration.

The next, we had welcoming remarks from the Steering Committees: Dr Nuki Agya Utama (Executive Director of ACE), Dr Joyce Teo Siew Yean (Assistant Vice-Chancellor and Vice President on Global Affairs of UBD), and Dr Ethel Agnes Pascua-Valenzuela (Executive Director of Southeast ASEAN Ministers of Education Organisation – SEAMEO Secretariat). Dr Nuki Agya Utama stated that AICEE represents the triple helix collaboration between government, industry and academe to foster the region’s fast-growing energy sector, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic. Dr Joyce highlighted that this conference could address some challenges and take the opportunities in energy development. Dr Ethel echoed the idea that ASEAN countries should continuously boost energy market resilience and ensure more sustainable growth in all aspects.

The conference was divided into three sessions wherein each session. There was a plenary lecture from the invited speaker and the presentations from selected authors, moderated by one of the Scientific Committees. Session I discussed the topic of Renewable Energy Technologies and Policies. The session was started by listening to the plenary lecture entitled Life Cycle Thinking for Energy and Environment from Prof. Shabbir H. Gheewala from the King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi. Prof Shabbir said that Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is necessary to avoid problem shifting between life cycle stages, impact categories and sustainability pillars. In terms of energy use, renewable energy (RE) is not emissions-free, and we have to reduce its impact and make RE better than fossil fuels through LCA.

Live Session I was moderated by Dr. Muhammad Raziq Rahimi Kooh from Universiti Brunei Darussalam. The presentation topics were varied from climate change and corporate governance, climate finance, policy review on electric vehicle (EV) readiness, Covid-19 impacts to EV stocks and the alignment between ASEAN energy transition-Paris Agreement-Covid-19 pandemic. In this session, the presenters are coming from Ghana, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Australia.

Moving on the Session II that discussed the topic of Transition of Energy Systems and Smart Power Distribution. The session was started by listening to the plenary lecture delivered by Prof Taufik, the Director of Electric Power Institute from Cal Poly State University, USA. He brought the presentation entitled DC House for Rural Electrification. Prof. Taufik explained the advantages of DC compared to AC in electrical systems, which got this idea to make DC House Project started in 2010. Furthermore, a DC grid with a distributed renewables system instead of a centralised system will improve reliability, resiliency, and scalability. In the future, residential DC load will become increasingly prevalent in types and capacity.

Live Session II was moderated by Dr. Roshan Thotahamuge from Universiti Brunei Darussalam. The presentation topics were varied from microgrid integration in the Philippines, enterprise development in the energy sector, Rankine Cycle design for Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC), technical aspects for mini hydropower plant project, and modelling low carbon integrated electricity generation in ASEAN. In this session, the presenters come from the Philippines, Brunei Darussalam, Malaysia, Indonesia and Japan.

In the last session of the conference, Session III discussed the topic of New Energy Technologies. A plenary lecture from Dr Abdul Hanif Mahadi from Universiti Brunei Darussalam began Session III. Dr Hanif Mahadi delivered the speech entitled Catalysing Sustainable Hydrogen Energy: Production and Storage. He explained hydrogen technology and how to produce hydrogen: grey, blue and green hydrogen and new advanced technology where we combine photocatalysis with other techniques to result in photoelectrochemical (PEC). In addition, to store the produced hydrogen, there are two main ways: physical-based and chemical-based.

Dr Abdul Hanif Mahadi also moderated the live session III. This session discussed emerging technology to provide cleaner energy in the future. The presentation topics covered several fields: enhance biogas production, high-efficient gasification in a low-tar biomass gasifier, photocatalyst for hydrogen production and hydrogen potential in ASEAN. The presenters are coming from the Philippines, Bangladesh, Brunei Darussalam and Indonesia.(S/SEM/VYS)