The International Energy Agency (IEA) has welcomed Singapore as an IEA Association Country. Becoming an Association Country is particularly important for Singapore given its role as a regional energy hub in the heart of Southeast Asia – a rapidly developing region where energy demand is set to increase 80% by 2040 due to a booming population and robust economic growth.
As an IEA Association Country, Singapore will build on existing collaborations to partner with IEA on two new initiatives. First, Singapore will host a new Singapore-IEA regional training hub to provide energy training programs to develop industry-specific capabilities in the region. Singapore and the IEA will organize an Energy Efficiency Training Week in 2017 to provide hands-on training for energy efficiency practitioners.
The IEA is an autonomous organization which works to ensure reliable, affordable, and clean energy for its 29 member countries and beyond. The IEA has four main areas of focus: energy security, development, environmental awareness and engagement worldwide. Natural gas, as well as regulations and rulings that impact the global gas compression industry, are also included in its focus.
Before becoming a member country of the IEA, a candidate country must demonstrate that it has:
- as a net oil importer, reserves of crude oil and/or product equivalent to 90 days of the prior year’s average net oil imports to which the government (even if it does not own those stocks directly) has immediate access should the Coordinated Emergency Response Measures (CERM) – which provide a rapid and flexible system of response to actual or imminent oil supply disruptions – be activated;
- a demand restraint program for reducing national oil consumption by up to 10%;
- legislation and organization necessary to operate, on a national basis, the CERM; and
- legislation and measures in place to ensure that all oil companies operating under its jurisdiction report information as is necessary.
There is a process to ascertain whether the potential member country can meet these requirements, during which the IEA Secretariat advises and works with the candidate country. The final decision rests with the Governing Board. To be a member country of the IEA, a country must also be a member country of the Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development (OECD). However, membership in the OECD does not automatically result in membership in the IEA: Chile, Iceland, Israel, Mexico; and Slovenia are OECD member countries but at present do not belong to the IEA; Chile and Mexico are currently candidate countries for IEA membership.
Association status was activated in 2015 when the IEA met with China, Indonesia, and Thailand at the IEA Ministerial meeting and jointly declare the activation of IEA Association.
The IEA Association provides a platform for the IEA to engage non-member countries to work together on issues including energy security, energy data and statistics, and energy policy analysis. It enables non-member countries to participate in a variety of activities, including IEA standing groups, committees, and Ministerial meetings.
Association status serves as a bridge and platform for wider-ranging and deeper co-operation and collaboration between IEA member and Association countries in the future. According to the IEA, it is a key step towards building a truly global international energy organization, fully reflective of future energy trends and the interests of both IEA members and Association countries, who have a critical expanding role across the entire range of global energy issues.
“I am particularly happy to welcome Singapore into the IEA family,” said Fatih Birol, Executive Director, IEA. “It is an important player both regionally and globally and has put in place strong policies to ensure secure, sustainable and competitive energy supply. We look forward to building even stronger ties between the IEA and Singapore, especially because it is in a strategic position to support the energy transition in Southeast Asia.”