Sarawak Energy joins global leaders at SIEW 2021

Sharbini (bottom), was a panellist during the Singapore IRENA High-Level Forum held at SIEW 2021. Photo Credit: Sarawak Energy.

KUCHING, Nov 1: Sarawak Energy shares its renewable energy journey at the recently concluded Singapore International Energy Week (SIEW) 2021, which was held in a hybrid format from Oct 25 to 29.

Sarawak Energy in a statement today said this year’s edition of SIEW brought together global energy decision makers, international organisation leaders, and industry captains who shared their insights and perspectives under the theme, “Advancing the Energy Transition”.

Sarawak Energy Group’s chief executive officer (CEO) Datu Sharbini Suhaili, was on the panel at the inaugural Singapore-International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) High-Level Forum at the conference.

The forum, themed “Investing in an Inclusive and Just Energy Transition”, featured over 25 energy ministers and leaders.

The session opened with keynote addresses from United Kingdom Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Kwasi Kwarteng, Cambodia Secretary of State for Ministry of Mines and Energy Dr Ith Praing, and United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) executive secretary Patricia Espinosa.

They each elaborated on the role that the global energy transition would play in achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement which includes limiting the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

During the panel, Sharbini shared, “The Sarawak Government spearheaded renewable energy transition in the State about a decade ago with the launch of Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE), which leveraged on the development of renewable hydropower.”

“Our early transition into renewable hydropower has decarbonised our power system by over 70 per cent in the last decade, while supporting Sarawak’s industrial growth and creating job opportunities.

“Hydropower development has also enabled Sarawakians to enjoy amongst the most competitive tariffs in Malaysia and the Asean region,” he said.

He added, “As Malaysia’s largest renewable energy developer, we are also making progress towards achieving 100 per cent electrification in Sarawak by 2025 or earlier, through various rural electrification initiatives.”

He emphasised that successful climate action while building a more sustainable energy future is a collective responsibility.

“We believe that governments can work together with energy leaders, civil society and the public to create enabling policies to accelerate the development and sharing of renewable energy to advance this transition,” he added.

Sharbini also spoke on how renewable hydropower has enabled energy sharing as well as research into alternative renewables.

He said, “In 2016, we have begun sharing our renewable energy resources with West Kalimantan, Indonesia, and by 2024 we will begin commencing power export to our neighbours in Sabah.”

He added, “Our abundant hydropower resources have also created a strong foundation for us to explore other renewable energy sources including floating solar and green hydrogen production.”

In 2019, Sarawak Energy built Southeast Asia’s first integrated hydrogen production plant and refueling station in Kuching and is currently developing a 50 megawatt (MW) floating solar in the reservoir of its Batang Ai Hydroelectric Plant.

Also on the panel were Thailand’s Ministry of Energy, Department of Alternative Energy Development and Efficiency director-general Dr Prasert Sinsukprasert, British High Commissioner to Singapore Kara Owen, Commonwealth Secretariat Trade, Oceans and Natural Resources senior director Paulo Kautoke, and International Finance Corporation’s Infrastructure and Natural Resources – Asia Pacific, regional industry director Isabel Chatterton.

The panelists exchanged views on how to navigate the challenges and opportunities presented by the energy transition. — DayakDaily