While convening the Asian Relations Conference in 1947, Mahatma Gandhi appealed to Asians to seek an identity in the post-colonial age unique to the region. Four decades later, the Asian Relations Commemorative Conference, held in New Delhi, India, in 1987, emphasized the need for establishing an Asian collaborative research entity on energy. The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), supported by the Government of India, responded by taking the initiative to launch the AEI (Asian Energy Institute) in New Delhi in August 1989.
The AEI aims to draw upon the expertise in the region to :-
- promote greater information exchange;
- facilitate the sharing and dissemination of knowledge;
- undertake research and training activities of common interest to its members; and
- analyse global energy developments and their implications.
A knowledge network of a few energy institutes from Asia at its inception, the AEI has since grown to include representatives from 12 countries in Asia. Not limiting its reach within the boundaries of Asia, in 1992 the Institute’s Governing Council took a decision to expand the network to include associate members from outside the region. The network at present includes 18 full members and 13 associate members. At the Institute’s launch, TERI was chosen to host the Secretariat of the AEI, a position it continues to hold. TERI has provided its institutional strength and wherewithal to support AEI activities. Members communicate through the network website, emails, research projects and workshops.