KUCHING, April 13: Sarawak Energy Bhd (SEB) has raised its hydropower generation capacity from 108MW before 2011 to over 3,400MW today, with another 1,285MW set to further energise Sarawak by 2025.
According to a press release yesterday, this is in support of the state government’s vision to realise socio-economic transformation and high-income status for its people by 2030 through renewable energy development.
Environmental wise, such a move has brought down the carbon intensity of its power system, significantly contributing towards Malaysia’s Paris COP21 commitment.
As strategic sponsor at the 4th International Sustainable Energy Summit 2018 jointly organised by the Ministry of Utilities Sarawak and Sustainable Energy Development Authority (SEDA) Malaysia and co-hosted by the Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water and the Sarawak government, SEB showcased its focused development of hydropower for sustainable energy generation at plenary sessions and its exhibition booth where a hydrogen powered bicycle was a major draw.
Group chief executive officer Sharbini Suhaili at a plenary session titled “Capital Planning: Reinventing the Business Model for Power Utilities in the Future Electricity Market” said with guidance from the Sarawak government, SEB has made hydropower the predominant source in its generation mix and this has enabled it to meet the state’s need for sustainable, renewable and affordable energy as well as realise the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 7 which is to ensure accessibility to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.
“Global energy consumption is responsible for about three quarters of the world’s greenhouse gas emission. Sarawak’s hydropower development is a move towards decarbonising the electric power sector subscribing to sustainable practices. We have reduced our generation carbon intensity by 72 per cent since 2010.
“This is a significant contribution towards Malaysia’s drive in achieving its Paris COP 21 (Conference of the Parties) target,” he said in his presentation that described how energy development for Sarawak was about striking a good balance to ensure energy reliability, sustainability, and affordability with hydropower complemented by indigenous coal and gas.
He said this diversity of energy resources with large hydropower dominating the mix has enabled the state government to provide the lowest electricity tariffs in Malaysia that was also among the lowest in the region.
He said with the Ministry of Utilities, SEB has also embarked on a strategic plan to pursue renewables like solar and micro-hydro energy to accelerate rural electrification in the state.
“We have put in place stand-alone off-grid power generation systems in our remote rural areas. In 2017, we recorded the use of about 9MW of solar power via a host of initiatives, which includes the internationally recognised Sarawak Alternative Rural Electrification Scheme or SARES.
“In moving forward, we hope to diversify the range of alternative renewables to include hydrogen fuel cells. We are in the midst of studying more on its production, storage and usage particularly in revolutionising and electrifying transportation in the state to reduce further our carbon emissions.”
SEB was also represented in separate deep-dive workshops during the two-day summit that was officially opened by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.
The chairperson for the summit is Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom, Minister for Utilities.
SEB Power chief executive officer James Ung, shared on SEB’s perspective on hydropower in a deep-dive workshop titled “Sustainable Hydropower: Harnessing the Future Now” which was chaired by SEB vice-president for hydro, Polycarp Wong.
Ung emphasised on SEB subscribing to international best practices in the development of its hydropower projects and is an elected member of the International Hydropower Association.
On the second day of the summit, SEB vice-president for research and development Dr Chen Shiun moderated at the deep-dive workshop titled “Final Frontier: Ensuring Sustainable and Equitable Energy for All” which featured senior engineer (renewable energy) Christopher Wesley Ajan from SEB’s Research and Development Department
sharing on SEB’s experience in implementing SARES as a sustainable energy option for those who are residing away from the grid — DayakDaily