This book published by ISEAS contains selected papers based on some of the lectures delivered over 2005/2006 at the ISEAS Energy Forum. The aim is to educate the public on a whole range of energy issues and trends in Singapore, Southeast Asia and the wider region. It is a timely review of an important issue which is now on top of regional and international agendas. The papers are written by various experts, who provide detailed and extensive knowledge on a wide variety of energy issues. It is meant for the general reader who wishes to update and inform himself/herself.
Energy is a very basic need for the economy and also for civilization. Nothing moves and no machine operates without an energy source, whether it is manpower, animal power, natural (wind, water, solar) or fossil fuels (oil, coal, gas, bio-mass) or scientific/technological (nuclear, ion-drive, fusion). When an adversary cuts off energy supplies, this is clearly a hostile act, and is recognized as such. Thus strategists understood why Imperial Japan reacted in military terms to the U.S. action in imposing an oil embargo on Tokyo. This is also the reason why India and China today are concerned about the security of energy supplies, needed for their booming economies. Energy security has thus moved to the top of the international and national agendas. It is therefore very timely that ISEAS and three government agencies have cooperated to organize and launch the Singapore Energy Conference (SEC).