By Lian Cheng
KUCHING, Nov 13: As the world moves forward with hydrogen fuel-cell technology, Sarawak must embark on such journey to meet its strategic energy, economic and environmental challenges.
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said RM20.3 million has been allocated for research and development (R&D) on hydrogen fuel-cell technology.
He added that the state should encourage hydrogen technologies and not staying away from the eco-friendly technology as advocated by Pending assemblywoman Violet Yong.
“Despite the advances in hydrogen technology across the world, we can and must do more. Rather than shirking from the challenge like the Honourable Member for Pending (Yong), we Sarawakians must foster the spirit of building a climate-smart economy of the future in order to protect our homeland.
“On our transition to a reliable, clean energy system, I approved RM20.3 million for an applied research grant on hydrogen economy initiative, as proof of our commitment to R&D funding which calls for a 21st Century clean transportation initiative.
“This would help modernise our urban infrastructure through new technologies such as fuel cell technology, hydrogen-powered vehicles and hydrogen-powered Autonomous Rapid Transit (ART), which has zero carbon emission,” Abang Johari said when delivering his winding up speech at Sarawak Legislative Assembly here today.
Hydrogen development coupled with other cutting-edge technology sectors, ranging from manufacturing to agriculture, will create new jobs, attract new high value added industries that can contribute positively to Sarawak’s labour revenue productivity, he continued.
“GPS (Gabungan Parti Sarawak) government has taken bold steps to promote clean energy industry by exploring the hydrogen economy, diversifying from traditional energy sources that have repercussion on climate change.
“In communities across the world, hydrogen technology is now very well developed and proven to be safe,” he said.
He cited favourable views on the future of hydrogen economy in Malaysia, as expressed at the Academy of Sciences Malaysia (ASM) 12th General Assembly held last April 27 in Kuala Lumpur.
“Malaysia’s energy policies, namely the Fuel Cell & Hydrogen Blueprint 2017, suggests that Malaysia is ready to embrace renewable resources as a way forward by including the potential of fuel cell using hydrogen energy to bring a clean, zero emission energy technology for a sustainable nation.
“The Petronas Hydrogen Vision views hydrogen as a decarbonisation solution by managing carbon dioxide emission across its value chain. It also views hydrogen as an enabler for potential business growth.
“Tenaga National Berhad’s Technology Roadmap 1 (TRM1) identified hydrogen as one of the enablers under Proactive Environmental Management Theme,” Abang Johari said.
He added that TNB’s R&D also suggested that hydrogen is an excellent energy carrier due to hydrogen having longer discharge duration and larger capacity compared to other energy storage and energy carrier technologies, which is useful for applications in the heavy transportation and industrial sector.
Apart from Malaysia’s views on hydrogen, Abang Johari also cited the initiative of South Korea to substantiate his argument that the world is moving towards hydrogen development.
“According to South Korea government’s hydrogen road map released in January this year, the Korean hydrogen market is expected to reach 70 trillion Won by 2050.
“Just last week, South Korea announced it will build three hydrogen-powered cities by 2022. The plan will see the cities use hydrogen as the fuel for cooling, heating, electricity and transportation.
“Over the past months, I drove around town in a hydrogen fuel cell powered SUV by a South Korean manufacturer; so far it has been a smooth and quiet ride, and safe to handle,” said Abang Johari. — DayakDaily