SINGAPORE, Oct. 27 (Xinhua) -- Singapore and the International Energy Agency (IEA) co-hosted the second Global Ministerial Conference on System Integration of Renewables (SIR) via video link on Tuesday.
As part of the Singapore International Energy Week 2020, the conference brought together some 30 energy ministers, global CEOs and thought leaders to discuss emerging issues in the acceleration of renewables integration and power system resilience, with a strong focus on Asia and Southeast Asia.
IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol highlighted the importance of Southeast Asia at the conference, saying that the region has a "lion's share" in the global energy demand growth.
"But also, the region has, in terms of energy, many challenges," he said. "Air quality, a critical challenge. Emissions, CO2 emissions, a critical challenge. Not being able to mobilize the investments in a timely manner for the energy sector, another important challenge."
"But again, I want to highlight that this region is critical and IEA is doing everything we can in order to highlight the importance of this region for energy and beyond," Birol added.
He told the conference that global energy demand this year will decline by about 5 percent, which means this year's decline is seven times larger than the decline during the financial crisis in 2008.
Besides, Birol said IEA expects this year's global energy investments to decline by nearly 20 percent across the energy sector. "The only part we don't see a decline in investment is renewable energies, mainly because they are getting a strong support from governments, the government guarantees are in place," he added.
IEA also launched its Electricity Security Report at the conference. The report provides important recommendations on modernizing power grids for greater reliability and flexibility.
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