Fukui, Japan --- (METERING.COM) --- June 24, 2010 - Energy ministers from the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) economies last week called for an APEC smart grid initiative to evaluate the potential of smart grids to support the integration of intermittent renewable energies and energy management approaches in buildings and industry.

In the Fukui Declaration issued by the meeting, the ministers note that smart grid technologies, including advanced battery technologies for highly efficient and cost effective energy storage, can help to integrate intermittent renewable power sources and build control systems that let businesses and consumers use energy more efficiently, and they can also help to enhance the reliability of electricity supply, extend the useful life of power system components, and reduce system operating costs.  

The APEC Energy Working Group is instructed to start the smart grid initiative – one of a total of 16 tasks put forward by the ministers with the aim of advancing energy security, improving energy efficiency and increasing clean energy supply in the APEC region.

Other tasks that the Energy Working Group was instructed to undertake include assessing the potential for reducing the energy intensity of economic output in APEC economies between 2005 and 2030 beyond the 25 percent goal already agreed by APEC leaders, developing technology development roadmaps for key energy technologies, and establishing a task force to implement a low carbon model town project aimed at developing best practices to achieve low emissions urban communities.

In the Fukui Declaration the ministers indicate that improving energy efficiency is one of the quickest, greenest and most cost effective ways to address energy security, economic growth and climate change challenges at the same time, and therefore can reduce the region's reliance on oil and gas imports and carbon emissions from fossil fuel combustion.

“We met with the understanding that we have to take on the difficult challenge of enhancing regional energy security, in the midst of emerging concerns about the global environment and world economy,” said the ministers in the Fukui Declaration. “More efficient use of energy and a cleaner energy supply will simultaneously boost our energy security, grow our economies and lower our emissions.”

At the meeting Japan donated JPY360 million (US$3.9 million) to promote energy efficiency activities and low carbon measures in the APEC, and in particular to support the low carbon model town initiative, which is expected to be rolled out in 10 to 20 selected locations over the next three years.

The APEC economies are Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, The Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, United States, and Viet Nam.