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Importance of Energy Data and Statistics

How can wise decisions be made on how energy is consumed if there is no data to back up those decisions?

Energy statistics and consumption data are of paramount importance. Energy consumption statistics and indicators allow for monitoring and analysis of energy consumption trends. Energy statistic would be useful to government energy agencies, analysts, oil companies, traders provides a strategic importance in the dissemination of up-to-date and relevant information on the current energy situation.

Statistics, data, analysis on resources, supply, and production of energy sources are usually available from national energy administrations, as well as from international bodies. Ideally statistical data covers origins, uses and supply of all sources and carriers of energy, as well as transfers and transformations. When it comes to energy consumption statistics – consumption of energy by end-use sector and especially by end-use application – data can be patchy, hard to obtain and compare among others due to different definitions and coverage of end-use sectors across countries.

Selected examples on why collect energy statistics:

–       Need reliable and timely data on imports, consumption and stocks

–       Need reliable and timely data on production

–       Need reliable data on renewable

–       Need reliable data on both supply and demand

At the level of the entire economy, the key indicator to follow is the efficiency of energy use, otherwise known as energy intensity. It shows the amount of energy necessary to produce one unit of gross domestic product (GDP). Any change in energy intensity is due to the combined effect of a few factors, most importantly efficiency improvements, structural changes, increase in energy substitutions, and changing living standards.

Energy intensity belongs to the so-called top-down indicators, which allow the calculation of the amount of energy saved calculated using aggregated sectoral levels of energy consumption and savings as the starting point and adjusting for a number of extraneous factors such as degree days, structural changes, product mix, purchasing power parity, etc.

Other top-down indicators include energy used per square meter of housing space or energy per person-kilometre. In contrast a bottom-up system of measurement, attributes energy savings to concrete policies and measures delivering energy savings, i.e. to concrete projects and activities.

Collecting any statistics has a cost, however not having proper information could lead to higher costs. So, it’s very importance to limit the collecting to what is necessary and what is necessary depends on the needs.

Currently, I am working on the development of ASEAN Energy Database System (AEDS) and ASEAN Energy Review. I hope I can share it very soon. Stay tune.

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