NEF 2018: Driving a carbon neutral Malaysia forward
As part of this agenda, we are expanding renewable sources of generation while capitalising on new technologies that will enable the power generation sector to dramatically reduce CO2 emissions. Yeo Bee Yin, Minister of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change
KUALA LUMPUR: The eighth National Energy Forum (NEF), jointly organised by the Energy Commission (ST), Malaysian Gas Association (MGA) and Energy Council of Malaysia, themed ‘Carbon-Neutral Future, A Country in Transition’ was held yesterday to pave the path for Malaysia’s sustainable future.
Officiated by the Minister of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change, Yeo Bee Yin, representatives from across the energy sector convened to discuss energy security, renewable energy (RE), energy efficiency (EE), and efforts against climate change.
This year’s NEF served as a platform to engage policy makers, regulators, government agencies, industry experts, and environmental non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to address issues and challenges faced by the industry, including restrategising Malaysia’s energy policy, balancing economic needs with energy security and driving greater energy efficiency practises.
Delivering the keynote address, Yeo said that the theme for this year’s NEF to enable a carbon-neutral future is truly commendable as it is both timely and relevant, ringing in the new Malaysia’s political, economic, social and environmental transformation.
“As part of this agenda, we are expanding renewable sources of generation while capitalising on new technologies that will enable the power generation sector to dramatically reduce CO2 emissions.
“We are also encouraging more sustainable development projects while improving project procurement, increasing energy efficiency, future-proofing structures, streamlining regulations and empowering consumers,” she added.
Internationally, one of the key fuel sources that has been recognised as the perfect partner to RE is natural gas. The International Gas Union (IGU) identifies that natural gas enables clean energies as it supports variable renewable generation, enables broader use of biogas and facilitates power to gas. Given its versatility, natural gas currently supplies 22 per cent of the energy used worldwide, and makes up nearly 25 per cent of electricity generation.
As a co-organiser of NEF, MGA, led by its president, Hazli Sham Kassim, reinforced the important role of natural gas in achieving Malaysia’s carbon-neutral ambitions.
“Given that natural gas is the cleanest burning fossil fuel, it is clearly the fuel of choice to overcome the numerous foreseeable challenges in mitigating carbon emissions and achieving carbon neutrality globally. Additionally, the combination of abundance and accessibility of natural gas is hardly matched by other fossil fuels,” he said.
“These factors alongside an efficient delivery infrastructure in Malaysia render natural gas the perfect partner to renewables, enhancing power generation reliability and ensuring energy security. With increasing preference as fuel and feedstock for the industrial and transportation sectors, natural gas is set to fuel a sustainable future.”
During one of the panel sessions, the macro economic impact of adopting EE across various industries was also highlighted.
In a study by the Economic Planning Unit and the United Nations Development Programme, it was emphasised that if all energy efficiency programmes identified in the study were fully implemented, it could result in potential saving of up to RM46.9 billion for the period between 2016 and 2030. With savings amounting to RM3 billion per year, these funds could be redistributed into other development projects.
Echoing the call for greater efficiency in every aspect of energy supply and demand, ST chairman Datuk Ahmad Fauzi Hasan remarked that Malaysia’s approach to the development of the energy sector has been a pragmatic and prudent one which gives priority to meeting demand and ensuring security of supply.
“And as Malaysia is committing to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s (UNFCCC) 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) to reduce emission intensity by 35 per cent in 2030, and a further 10 per cent reduction with international support, it is only natural to involve energy sector in the process,” he added.
Yeo delivering her keynote address at NEF 2018.