To help bridging the energy-climate silo and improving intersectoral collaborations, ASEAN Centre for Energy (ACE) plan to hold the 1st ASEAN International Conference on Energy and Environment (1st AICEE) on 15 September 2021. Prior the conference, we interviewed Dr. Andy Tirta, Manager of Energy Modelling and Policy Planning Department in ACE as well as the Conference Chair of AICEE to further understand the conference and its role as the platform for Academics, Government, and Industry on energy sector.
This interview was conducted as part of the 1st ASEAN International Conference on Energy and Environment (AICEE), 15 September 2021 virtually hosted by Brunei Darussalam under ACCEPT project scheme.
ACE: Could you tell us more what is AICEE and its main theme? What is the purpose of this conference and who would attend/ be invited to this event?
Andy Tirta: AICEE is a first of its kind conference which focuses on the nexus of energy and environment. As the growing awareness of climate change emerges within the global society, both fields are undeniably inter-related in this carbon-constraint world. This year we raised the theme of “ASEAN Energy Transition with Resiliency in the Post-pandemic Climate Change Era”. The purpose of this conference lies in its objective to bring various ASEAN energy stakeholders in one forum to exchange the best policy practices. We invited the academia(s), private sector(s), and ASEAN member states (AMS) government representatives. The AICEE will be held along with the first ASEAN Energy Business Forum or (AEBF) and ASEAN Ministers on Energy Meeting (AMEM), which started earlier than AICEE, on 14th-17th September 2021. Unfortunately, this series of events would be held virtually. We will utilize ‘Zoom’ for the teleconference media supplemented by ‘Swap Card’ for participants registration, engagement, and matchmaking. This conference would also be accessible for everyone on ACE’s Youtube Channel
ACE: Could you enlighten us why the theme is chosen and how important this conference looking at today’s energy dynamics?
Andy Tirta: We are excited on bringing triple helix stakeholders’ together in the light of the region to hold this activity. The theme is exceptional, not only we raised the energy and environment, but we also link the topic with the global pandemic−COVID-19. These three-dimensional issues are very essential in this unprecedented situation where the pandemic affects economy and health sector. Indirectly, energy sector also hard-hit amid the restricted movement policy across the world specifically here among ASEAN member states. This topic will enlighten people, especially for the policymakers to provide best practices and recommendations to make their policy as relevant and effective as possible to be implemented.
ACE: We understood that growing awareness to climate change affected the energy industry and its sub-sectors as energy accounts for most of emissions emitted. What kind of highlighted topics that would be discussed on the event and why it is essential for energy sector?
Andy Tirta: We have three streamlined topics namely (1) Renewable Energy Technologies and Policies, it is undebatable that rising trend of renewable energy becomes the backbone of our means to reduce emissions in energy generation sector and to decelerate the global temperature rise. (2) Transition of Energy System and Smart Power Distribution, where it should be aligned with the latest available technologies and best scenario that would be provided by the policymakers. Lastly, (3) New Energy Technologies as a representation of fast-growing technologies in energy development.
ACE: As a conference chair and also manager to Modelling and Policy Planning at ACE, what’s the expected output you would like to see? And could you share with us what the degree impact of this conference is?
Andy Tirta: During the call for abstract, we accepted 54 submissions and invited 14 participants to present their papers. We also invite them to write the full paper that will be submitted in November. As the first conference, I personally considered the outreach success, the event itself has attracted people not only from ASEAN but other regions as well. We are pleased that the event received a good response the Director of Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organisation (SEAMEO), Dr. Ethel Agnes Pascua-Valenzuela said that she accepted a lot of questions from worldwide regarding to this event and it shows that this event attracts attention from people.
This event is held as collaborative events from ACE and University of Brunei Darussalam (UBD) as the lead of scientific committee. With the high profile of the scholars in the scientific committee, we can assure you that the quality of the paper that submitted are qualified as a scientific papers. .
Further, our conference also invited three scholars for lectures session: Prof Shabbir H. Gheewala from The Joint Graduate School of Energy and Environment (JGSEE) of King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi (KMUTT), Prof. Taufik who is a Director of Electric Power Institute from Cal Poly State University, and Dr. Abdul Hanif Mahadi from University of Brunei Darussalam.
As the output, we would like to consolidate all the extended abstract into a conference proceeding book and the full paper as the special issue in Scopus-indexed journal named “IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science”. Hopefully, when we have this proceeding book and the special issue of this journal, it will serve as a reference to all the stakeholders of the best practices in the countries. The papers plan to be published in upcoming January. We also expect from the outputs of the discussion between the presenters and audience to give enhancement of respective their knowledge in the topic. The good side is, in common practice International Conference like this where it’s an offline event there’s limitation in the number of participants. But since it will be held virtually, we could gather diverse and more participants worldwide.
ACE: What is the impression of the conference so far and its way forward?
Andy Tirta: If this event becomes annual event, we are optimist that this conference could reach wider publics to share their expertise and knowledge that will bring positive impact for others to make best recommendations and solutions to ease the problem they are facing. One thing to note, for the successor/upcoming conference, the collaborative work between ACE and UBD could be the best example to be done again in the next AICEE where each institution can support each other and express their suggestion to make the event to be successful.
In addition, I would like to thank for the advice and recommendation from the Executive Director of ACE as well as the Steering Committee of this event, Dr. Nuki Agya Utama who initiate the idea for this conference, other Steering Committee, Dr. Ethel Agnes Pascua-Valenzuela, Dr. Joyce Teo Siew Yean as the Assistant Vice Chancellor and Vice President (Global Affairs) from University of Brunei Darussalam, and Marie Gail de Sagon as the Head of Energy and Minerals Division from ASEAN Secretariat. Additionally, I also would like to express my gratitude to ACCEPT and Norwegian Embassy to support this activity as one of our efforts to align with the region’s effort for energy and climate change. And the last but not the least, all committee members in ACE.
The interview was prepared and conducted by Amira Bilqis and Tabita Natasha Wijaya, intern at Modelling and Policy Planning (MPP) department, under the guidance from Muhammad Rizki Kresnawan, Technical Officer of MPP department of the ASEAN Centre for Energy (ACE).