‘The demand for data comes from policy-makers’

  • June 7, 2018

Excerpts of the interview with Ms. Kate Dourian, Programme Officer, Middle-East and North Africa, Directorate of Global Energy Relations, International Energy Agency

Importance of the event…….

Well, it is the building block of all the modelling and analysis that we do. Over the years, we have worked to improve the transparency and frequency of data collection and at the moment what we are trying to do is get all the participants together to work together and improve data from certain areas. For example, in Africa, there is a need to have more accurate data; there has been a lot of improvement in data from China, which is a very important energy consuming nation. So, we are making progress but there is a lot more to be done. That’s what the meeting of the Joint Organisations Data Initiative (JODI) heads of organisation was about; as to how to improve data, consolidate what we have already and make it timely and more accessible as well.

 Where does the demand for this data come from?

 

The demand obviously comes from policy-makers to analyse the data and do their balances and see which direction the energy sector is going. It is essential for them to have this accurate data because without it, it impossible to do any of the modelling work that needs to be done for long-term analyses and energy demand-supply stock.

The JODI website has improved a lot. It has become more interactive – you can create your own charts – and has more information. We have added gas in the past few years as we see that the future growth comes from gas and oil. We are looking at coal-data transparency, which is going to be available on the portal. There is discussion about maybe including energy supply data. It is a work in progress but we don’t want to move too quickly because we don’t want to dilute the efforts we have made given the resources we have. It is essential to consolidate and move slowly to see what gaps there are in data that is required in order to have a clearer picture of the energy landscape.

 Working with IEF, OPEC, and other organizations that are contributing to JODI….

JODI is one of the most important joint efforts that we undertook with OPEC, IEF and other partners. We also work on oil markets, compare outlooks. We have the symposium, and it has helped to bring us closer in many ways in how we look at the data, types of data being used, and the type of baselines being closer to each other for people who are trying to do modelling. OPEC produces long-term forecast, we produce our long-term outlooks. Thus, to bring some sort of convergence is important to analyse these different sets of data.

Opportunity to meet Ministers and Heads of States…

For us, having this ministerial here in India is very important because India is an association country now. The latest addition being that of Mexico as a member of the IEA. We have seven association countries including China, India, Singapore, Morocco, Indonesia and Thailand, which has improved our ability to collect data to bring them into an expanded IEA family. We are very happy that this is happening in India. Our Executive Director is here alongside the OPEC Secretary General and the IEF Secretary General. We have a trilateral work programme on various levels and the highlight is this ministerial meeting.

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