Activities of OECD-IEA
1) The IEA has strengthened the actions launched in the early 2000s at both political and technical levels. At the political level, the IEA has given several presentations on statistics at various meetings of its Committees as well as at Governing Board meetings to draw the attention of policy makers and analysts on the need to allocate more resources to their statistics departments. Indeed, more and more work is requested from statisticians at a time when liberalization of the markets have made data reporting more complicated due to more companies to survey and confidentiality issues.
2) At the technical level, the joint IEA/OECD/Eurostat Manual is now available in 7 languages: English, French, German, Spanish, Chinese and Russian. A Arabic and a Turkish will also soon be available. This Manual, although the initial target was EU and OECD countries, quickly became an international standard and is widely spread among the energy statisticians community.
The IEA has started to produce in 2007 an annual Reporting Card to assess the performance of OECD Member countries regarding the submission of their Annual Questionnaires. This has proven to be a very effective way of giving a feedback to the countries highlighting issues and strong points.
3) The JODI initiative is still high on the political agenda and is regularly mentioned in major international events such as the IEF Forum, the G20 and the G8 Summits. JODI, which stands for the Joint Oil Data Initiative, has greatly contributed to raise the profile of statistics and statisticians. King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has himself launched the JODI database live on internet and by doing so has drawn the attention of policy makers and analysts.
Almost one hundred countries now participate in the initiative. The database on oil production, trade, stocks and consumption is updated every month for all the participating countries. But more importantly, the database is now access by the major oil companies and analysts. JODI is a great example of what the producer-consumer can achieve, and of what international cooperation between organizations can deliver.
4) InterEnerStat is a new initiative launched on the success of JODI. InterEerStat gathers 25 organisations either collecting or using energy statistics. The objective of the initiative is to improve energy statistics by strengthening harmonization and cooperation between organizations.
A website (which can be accessed at interenerstat.org) has been built and gathered a wealth of information on energy statistics. One of the most important pages is the page on definitions. Users can click on any flow and any product and find all definitions used by all the organizations for this particular flow and product.
In 2008, a neutral expert was hired to look at similarities and differences for the definitions of flows and products. He then proposed compromised definitions for each flow and product. On 28-30 October, the participating organizations gathered in Paris to discuss the proposed harmonised definitions. For most of the flows and products, organizations were very close to an agreement; for others guidelines and comments were given to the consultant to fine tune those definitions.
This is a remarkable achievement since this could lead to a common hierarchy in the products and the flows as well as common definitions paving the way for a possible joint questionnaire among organizations.
5) Energy efficiency is high on the political agenda. However, there is an obvious lack of detailed data on sub-sectors and end-uses consumption. As a consequence, it is often very difficult to build meaningful energy efficiency indicators to support any sound energy efficiency policy or to assess the progress achieved by the policy.
As a consequence, the IEA is actively working on designing a template to collect such detailed data and to get an approval by countries to report on an annual basis their detailed data using the template. The IEA will organize a major workshop on this topic on 20-22 January 2009. The title of the workshop is: Data, Analysis and Policy: the Three Faces of Energy Efficiency Indicators. Already over 100 participants have registered for this major event.
6) To ease the reporting burden passed to its Member countries, the IEA has developed a very friendly web interface for the submission of the annual questionnaires to the IEA. The interface offers a wide range of options for the countries to fill up their questionnaires: directly entering the numbers either on tables or on time series, importing the data from their own databases, etc. Built in checks allow countries to pre-check their submissions before sending them.
2008 is the first year for the countries to use this new facility. The interface seems to be very popular because more than 50% of the questionnaires have be submitted using the interface.
Priority objectives for the methodological work to be taken in the next two years
1) JODI: At the last JODI Conference in 2006, an expended format of the JODI questionnaire was proposed to complement the 42 data points already collected. In June 2009 the JODI partner organizations will organize the 7th World JODI Conference in Quito. One of the objectives is to make the expended format a standard for collecting monthly statistics.
2) InterEnerStat: The organizations are now so close to an agreement on common definitions; it is clear that the objective is to arrive to a final agreement within the next two years. If such agreement is found, next steps will include common training materials and possibly a common questionnaire.
3) Energy Efficiency Indicators: Depending on the results of the workshop which will be held in January, the optimum objective would be first to get an agreement on the coverage and presentation of the template and secondly to get a political endorsement of the reporting mechanism at the IEA Ministerial Meeting in October 2009, and then to start receiving, processing and disseminating annual submissions on energy efficiency indicators from Member countries.
4) The IEA is currently working on a monthly version of the web interface. This version will be used by the countries to report their monthly oil submissions as well as JODI questionnaires.
5) There is a growing issue regarding the trade of natural gas between countries. It is more and more difficult to know how much gas is imported from one country to another country due to many reasons: transit, confidentiality of contracts, swap contracts, etc. Eurostat and the IEA have decided to join their effort to try to improve the reporting and have launched two parallel projects.