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Malaysia’s 70% Renewable Energy Goal Faces Dual Challenges

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s transition to low-carbon energy goals presents a dual challenge in delivering value and building the ecosystem to achieve the country’s ambition of 70 per cent renewable energy by 2050.

Photo From: New Straits Times

Local think tank Datametrics Research and Information Centre Sdn Bhd (DARE) also noted that while Malaysia has exhibited a consistent capacity for growth in renewable energy sectors, improving energy efficiency and mitigating environmental concerns necessitates diversifying the sustainable energy mix. DARE published its latest report, entitled A Comparative Analysis of Renewable and Sustainable Energy Platforms in Malaysia, outlining a comparative thesis to advance Malaysia’s low-carbon goals. In identifying challenges and prospects in renewable and sustainable energy platforms, the report dives into various sources such as solar, wind, hydro, geothermal, biogas and biomass. It also scrutinises the synergistic potential of co-generation (Cogen) and waste heat recovery (WHR) systems, both pivotal for Malaysia’s ambition to secure 70 per cent renewable energy by 2050.

Elaborating on Malaysia’s renewable energy developments, DARE managing director Pankaj Kumar emphasised the benefits observed in countries like Germany and Japan from adopting sustainable energy solutions such as Cogen and WHR. “Despite common challenges in renewables, Malaysia’s renewable energy sector has consistently demonstrated capacity for growth. However, industries involved in Malaysia’s renewable and sustainable energy sectors must remain agile. “Adapting to the ever-changing sustainable energy environment is crucial to maintaining our push towards net zero and ensure that the solutions we commit to are as practical as they are equitable and just,” he said in a statement. Key findings of the study also include the distinction between renewable and sustainable energy for effective energy investment decision-making, the role of carbon offsetting in enhancing Malaysia’s green initiatives like the National Energy Transition Roadmap (NETR), Malaysia Renewable Energy Roadmap (MyRER), and New Economic Policy (NEP) and Malaysia’s leadership in sustainable solutions and green innovative technologies in the ASEAN region.

Pankaj said that while compiling data on the opportunities and benefits of renewable energy for adaptation and resilience in sustainable solutions, the think tank uncovered pressing challenges, such as energy storage. “These challenges could hinder achieving Malaysia’s energy targets if overlooked,” he said. Commenting on the impact of sustainable energy solutions, Pankaj said adopting sustainable technologies and a varied energy mix, climate adaptation, and resilience financing should not be seen as a burden but rather as an opportunity that yields financial benefits. “With Cogen, for example, it can reduce energy costs by about 40–60 per cent. “Industries and businesses, especially, need to assess the opportunities in terms of fiscal prudence, environmental dividends, and return on investment from green energy initiatives,” he said.

Pankaj said it had been proven that this method is cost-effective and can reduce carbon emissions and energy costs. It serves as a power generation alternative that assists industrial and factory operations in mitigating the drawbacks of heat losses from their conventional systems, achieving up to 85 per cent efficiency compared to traditional methods, he said.  He pointed out that Safran, an aerospace company, has achieved savings of 168,000,000 kWh over ten years at its WHR facility in Sendayan, Seremban.

This project, undertaken by Safran Group Malaysia’s subsidiary’s appointed solutions provider, Kinergy Advancement Bhd, highlights the practical benefits of sustainable technologies such as Cogen and WHR systems

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