KUCHING, Nov 28: The passing of the Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2023 in the Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN) recently opens various opportunities for the State to develop its own hydropower potential through cascading dams.
According to a Sarawak Public Communications Unit (Ukas) report, Sarawak Utility and Telecommunication Minister Dato Sri Julaihi Narawi said cascading dams are suitable to be developed as they only require river flow and, therefore, large reservoirs or inundation of large areas of land are not needed.
He stressed that this new approach can be more sustainable, thus minimising environmental and social impacts.
“The passing of this Bill (Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2023) also provides opportunities for private, public, and local communities to participate through equity in the development of hydropower with Sarawak Energy if the local community wants the hydro project to be developed in the area.
“Again, the local participation in developing the cascading dams depends on their willingness without force. Nevertheless, Sarawak Energy continues to take the lead to ensure grid stability, safety, and security,” he said in his ministerial winding-up speech at the DUN sitting on Nov 27.
Julaihi added Sarawak Energy adopts International Hydropower Sustainability Standards in carrying out its projects in line with Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) policies.
Therefore, he assured that communities and local leaders would be engaged in the early stages with regard to relevant project implementations. — DayakDaily