Asians concerned about future of energy: study

Feb. 4, 2014 at 1:16 PM
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ISLAMABAD, Feb. 4 (UPI) -- Energy shortages and higher energy prices are among the chief concerns of people surveyed in nine Asian countries, a study commissioned by Shell indicates.

Shell Pakistan, in a news release Tuesday announcing the findings of the "Future Energy Survey," noted that by 2030, the world will require 40 percent to 50 percent more energy, water and food, amid rising demand and increasing population.

The study by Paris-based market research firm Ipsos involved 8,446 participants in nine Asian countries -- Brunei, Korea, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam -- from January to December 2013:

Specific concerns revealed by the survey, Shell says, include: 91 percent of respondents in Thailand and 70 percent in South Korea cited energy shortages as a chief concern; 91 percent of respondents in India and 79 percent of respondents in Singapore cited higher energy prices; in Vietnam, water shortages were cited by 89 percent of respondents and in Indonesia 86 percent cited food shortages.

"It is encouraging to know that Asians view future energy needs as high priority, as this region will see one of the fastest growths in population and energy demand," said Jeremy Bentham, Shell's Vice President for Global Business Environment, in the release.

"More than ever before, the industry, government and public all have a joint responsibility to create a better energy future, and must come together to collaborate and coordinate our efforts to meet these challenges for generations to come," Shell's Bentham added.

A report released in October by the Asian Development Bank says the 48 nations comprising the Asia Pacific region will collectively increase their energy demand by 67 percent between 2010 and 2035, fueled by the region's economic growth and rising affluence.

That demand, the bank had said, would represent more than half of the world's consumption.

Shell said the Future Energy Survey reveals that Asians favor a mix of energy sources to meet future needs, with solar power and natural gas "leading the way" in many countries.

In Singapore, 86 percent of respondents rated solar energy as the most preferred future energy source; in Thailand, 83 percent and in India, 77 percent.

Natural gas was cited as the most desired future energy source by 87 percent of respondents in Brunei and as the second most desired energy source by 52 percent of respondents in Singapore, 43 percent in Indonesia and by 43 percent in India.

"Survey respondents agree that collaboration between industry, government, and the public, as well as innovation and incentives for cleaner energy, are the most important factors in shaping future energy needs," Shell said.

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