Sarawak aims for at least 50 per cent renewable energy consumption by 2050

Abang Johari (third left) cuts the ribbon to officiate at the IEW 2018 exhibition at BCCK​ while Awang Tengah (second left) and other guests look on.

KUCHING, Jan 23: With the increasing concern over the impact of fossil fuel on the environment, the state government will undertake serious steps to research and innovate alternative sources of energy while aiming to achieve renewable energy consumption of at least 50 per cent by the year 2050.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said apart from developing hydrogen fuel cells as an alternative energy source, the state government had also invested considerably in building hydroelectric dams.

“One of the many projects that we have achieved and is currently in progress as part of the development of Sarawak’s energy sector is the Baleh hydroelectric dam, the backbone transmission line and the Samalaju Industrial Port and Park.

“We aim to achieve the remarkable feat of having renewable energy make up 50 per cent of energy consumption by 2050,” he told some 500 delegates at the opening of the International Energy Week (IEW) 2018 at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) here today.

He added that Sarawak was looking at hydrogen fuel cells and the hydrogen-based economy, mostly because of the state’s abundant water resources from hydropower.

Abang Johari said that hydrogen energy has been seen as having the greatest potential in transportation and there was good scope for the development of green energy in Sarawak because its population was small enough for the state to have complete coverage.

“As we are trying to improve ourselves, we must also learn from all of you (delegates) with your greater exposure in the world and know, as part of your knowledge and insight, what is in store for us in Sarawak.

“We hope that we can work together and help to develop Sarawak into a new and modern digital economy so that we can improve the wellbeing of our people,” he said.

The fourth IEW 2018, held from Jan 23 till 25, will be attended by delegates from over 120 exhibiting companies from 11 countries including Italy, Germany, Singapore, United States of America, Finland, Iran, India, Switzerland, Japan and France.

Themed “Energising Sustainable Transformation and Opportunities”, this year’s IEW focuses on the sustainable development of Sarawak’s huge energy resources particularly within the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (Score) region, and its infrastructure projects such as the Pan Borneo Highway.

Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan said despite the fact that Sarawak held the largest share of remaining gas reserves in the country at 54 per cent and oil at 29 per cent, it should not continue to export these natural resources in raw form.

He said to ensure sustainability, the state needed to embark on more downstream value-adding petrochemical industries.

“Two of such initiatives currently being planned involve methanol and ammonia, and their derivative projects in Bintulu. Bintulu has the necessary infrastructure to become the regional hub for petrochemical industries.

“The setting up of Petroleum Sarawak Berhad (Petros) signifies the state’s seriousness in this direction,” said Awang Tengah. — DayakDaily