On 22-23 November 2005, 24 major regional and international organisations, either collecting or using energy statistics, convened in Paris at the 1st International Energy Statistics (InterEnerStat) meeting. The objectives of the meeting were twofold: to share experience and explore avenues of further cooperation.
Participants agreed to further harmonise methodologies, terminologies and definitions; strengthen the exchange of information and expertise; and emphasize capacity building and training.
In line with these objectives, it was decided to build a joint website where users could find a wealth of information regarding the work and coverage of energy statistics by each organisation, the definitions and methodologies used by the organizations as well as other useful information to know when working with energy statistics.
The InterEnerStat website should, therefore, be seen as a product of the cooperation between all the participating organisations. It is an evolving product which is updated as often as possible with inputs from the organisations.
On 19-20 November 2007, the 2nd InterEnerStat meeting gave the opportunity to all the organisations to improve the content, the presentation and the usefulness of the site. Participants also agreed to make harmonisation of definitions of products and flows a top priority.
On 28-30 October 2008, organisations reviewed a set of harmonised definitions prepared by an independent consultant based on the definitions currently in use by organisations. Comments and suggestions were provided to further improve the definitions.
At the 4th InterEnerStat meeting on 22-23 October 2009, additional comments were passed to the consultant regarding a second revision of the harmonised definitions. However, 95% of the definitions of both flows and products have been agreed by all participating organisations. Discussion goes on to get an agreement on the remaining 5%.
The definitions could then be used by the organisations in reshaping and reformulating some of their definitions (when and where needed). They should also be used as the basis for the definitions of the IRES Manual to be produced by the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD).
At a time when organisations face more challenges to improve transparency and timeliness, it is our sincere hope that the InterEnerStat site will help users to better understand energy statistics and pave the way for more cooperation and harmonisation between organisations. In order to increase the usefulness of the site, comments and suggestions are more than welcome.