11th IEA Energy Statistics Course draws 28 participants from 24 countries

29 February 2016

Twenty-eight statisticians from five continents started a week of intensive training in IEA best practice for energy data when they joined the Agency’s 11th Energy Statistics Course on 29 February.

The biannual course brings statisticians from around the world to the IEA headquarters in Paris for five days of lectures, simulations and practical exercises that show how the Agency gathers, assesses and shares complete and accurate national datasets. While open to officials from member countries, most of the more than 2 000 graduates from IEA training courses are from government agencies in partner countries.

The current course’s participants hail from 24 nations, including six Asian, six African and three Latin American countries. Selection from among the nearly 240 application was based on professional background and the applicant’s institution.

IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol opened the course, welcoming the statisticians and explaining the key role data plays in identifying priorities in the Agency’s work to provide secure, sustainable and affordable energy for all countries. “Our greatest strength is data,” he said, but noted that the quality of the information depends on statisticians not just at the IEA but also in the countries where the data are gathered. Energy Statistics Week is a significant element in IEA efforts to streamline that process and generate consistent data, and Dr. Birol challenged the participants to help improve global energy statistics: “What you make of this week is up to you.”

IEA Chief Statistician Duncan Millard then introduced the participants to the basics of how the Agency measures, compiles, contrasts, tabulates and publishes data from more than 140 countries and regions around the world. He described how the IEA, working with national and international statistics bodies, has developed a global system for accurate and comparable statistics related to all sources of energy as well as energy efficiency and carbon dioxide emissions.

Over the week, Agency statisticians are describing their work and IEA methodologies, but many of the course participants also are giving presentations on how their organisations and countries deal with universal and local energy data challenges. 

The IEA does not charge for Energy Statistics Course, but participants are responsible for the costs of travel and accommodation. The Agency will soon open the application process for the next week of training, which starts on 10 October 2016.