Energy Ministers: active government policy, investment key to solving "Energy Trilemma"

Posted on 16 October 2013

Energy ministers from China, Russia, and Canada said on Wednesday that proactive government policies and robust investment are key pillars in ensuring a steady supply of energy amid soaring global demand, while dealing with the “energy trilemma” of security, sustainability and access.

Wang Yumin, Vice Administrator of China’s National Energy Administration, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak, and Canadian Minister of Natural Resources Joe Oliver each addressed delegates at the World Energy Congress about the so-called “energy trilemma” of security, sustainability, and affordability of world energy.

KKD_3132“China’s energy development challenges are dire,” said Wang Yumin, Vice Administrator of China’s National Energy Administration. “There are new challenges because new sources of demand are being created.” Wang said consumption is growing 5.8% annually in China when China needs to sustain 10% economic growth per year in order to realize the “Chinese dream” of stable development.

Wang said China had managed to provide rural heating to 70% of the rural population, and has used advanced turbines and other technology to disadvantaged groups. He pointed out that China’s energy efficiency is approaching 90%, but that the government would need to implement “strict measures” to keep energy consumption under control. “People’s lifestyles will have to change,” Wang said.

KKD_3119Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said “It is clear that the main component of the trilemma is energy security—unless it is guaranteed,all other good intentions fade into insignificance.” He said Russia will continue to raise the issue of global energy security at international forums such as APEC and G20 summits.

Novak said Russia will also propose ways of establishing a transnational energy infrastructure to service areas with energy production deficits. “This is of special relevance for the APR [Asia Pacific region],” Novak said, “as high economic growth rates and population increase bring about greater energy consumption.” Novak pointed out Russia is increasing the capacity of its Northern Sea Route to provide shorter and more productive routes for energy supplies.

Canadian Minister of Natural Resources Joe Oliver told delegates Canada is undergoing a series of economic reforms to streamline and cut red tape on major energy projects. “Expanding and diversifying our energy exports is a top priority of the Canadian government,” said Oliver. “Canada has an emerging LNG industry and a strategic imperative to become an important supplier of energy to Asia.”

The Minister also highlighted that about $650 billion in new investment is planned or underway over the coming decade in hundreds of major resource projects in Canada.


This news story is based on the session “Keynote Speeches” at the 2013 World Energy Congress.