Complete electrification of state, just 2% more to achieve in urban, 5% more in rural areas

Alice presenting in the virtual session of Power Week Asia 2021.

KUCHING, March 19: Sarawak Utilities Ministry is only two per cent away from achieving full electrification coverage in urban areas and five per cent in rural areas in the state.

Its permanent secretary Datuk Alice Jawan Empaling said Sarawak has achieved 98 per cent overall domestic coverage and 95 per cent rural coverage last year in 2020.

Through the Ministry’s Sarawak Accelerated Rural Electrification Masterplan, she added, Sarawak is well ahead of the 100 per cent electrification goal by 2025, despite the unique geographical challenges of Sarawak’s landscape.

“This is in line with the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goal 7, which is to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.

“As a result of our focus on renewable energy development and people-centric policies, Sarawak now enjoys the lowest average tariff in Malaysia for its residential, commercial and industrial customers,” she said during a plenary session of the 6th Power Week Asia 2021 today.

In another aspect of energy sustainability, Alice noted the Sarawak government’s ambition in building a sustainable energy future by spearheading the research into hydrogen production and its application.

She pointed out one example which was the joint effort between the Ministry and Sarawak Energy Berhad on organising the first Sustainability and Renewable Energy Forum in 2019 to drive discourse at the regional level in South East Asia.

At the forum, she said Sarawak’s first Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) was launched to allow greater participation from corporations in a more sustainable energy future to encourage electricity sourcing from renewable sources and boost renewable energy uptake and integration.

As the state’s primary power provider and developer, she asserted that the Ministry together with Sarawak Energy have been and will continue to ensure the availability of an adequate, reliable, efficient, affordable and safe supply of electricity in a sustainable manner.

She was addressing an audience of regional energy industry players in conjunction with the annual Power Week Asia, an international conference and summit for the electric power and energy sector which provides expert views, valuable take-aways and insights on the energy industry’s outlook. — DayakDaily