Energy ministers from Pacific Rim economies will gather on Saturday in central Japan to discuss ways to ensure a stable supply of energy and improve its efficient use, Japanese officials said.
During the one-day meeting in Fukui Prefecture, home to a number of nuclear reactors, Japan, as chair of the 21-member Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, is also eager to promote the importance of nuclear power as an energy source that does not emit carbon dioxide in the generation process.
However, it is uncertain to what extent other countries would share the view, with such countries as Australia and New Zealand focusing more on renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power, according to a Japanese Economy, Trade, and Industry Ministry official.
The participants may also touch on the disastrous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, caused by an explosion of a BP Plc rig in April, the official said. The issue has kept the US administration busy, and US Secretary of Energy Steven Chu is unlikely to attend the APEC ministerial meeting, instead, Daniel Poneman, deputy secretary, is expected to take his place at the meet.
Cooperation in the area of energy is a key issue for the APEC region, which accounts for around 60 per cent of the world energy demand. The International Energy Agency forecasts that global energy demand will increase by 40 per cent between 2007 and 2030, largely because of consumption in Asian countries.
APEC has sought to enhance energy security under an initiative which calls on the need to share experiences on how to respond to temporary energy supply disruptions, to make efforts to improve energy efficiency and promote energy sources that would serve as alternatives to oil.