Friday, March 19, 2010

Daphne Iking Stands Up Against Coal Fired Power Plant for Sabah

Kuala Lumpur, 18th March 2010:
Concerned for the future of the next generation, Daphne Iking signs the petition against having a coal fired power plant built on the East Coast of Sabah.

“I want my daughter and her daughters’ daughter to be able to live in a clean environment,” said Daphne Iking after signing the petition yesterday.

Iking stated that climate change is an issue we have to address now, and as Malaysians we should be promoting green solutions instead of going for sunset industries such as coal fired power plants.

“Most people are fed-up of hearing people talk about climate change, we must act right now.

Malaysians have an opportunity to act, to do the right thing, so lets make the right decision not just for a quick fix solution but for the future generation,” explained Iking.

“I am concerned for the people who live close to the proposed plant especially for their children,” stated Iking.

Iking who hails from Sabah also pointed out that Sabah is well known as being a nature destination with amazing wildlife.

“Sabah is the stronghold for wonderful wildlife such as the orang-utan as well as the world’s smallest bear and the gentle Pygmy elephants, why ruin this imagine by building a coal fired power plant especially when we have viable alternatives from biomass waste of agriculture like palm oil?” asked Iking.

“Even at home we can make a difference by buying and using rechargeable lithium ion polymer batteries compared to the regular batteries that we buy and can only use once before having to throw it out,” stated Iking.

“At the global level, Sabah could be a leading example for Malaysia showing that we are addressing our problems such as electricity issues with green solutions,” said Iking.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Maya Karin Says “No to Coal Plants in Sabah”

Petaling Jaya, 15th March 2010:
Almost a year after supporting Earth
Hour 2009, popular actress and entertainer Maya Karin recently highlighted her concern about climate change by signing the “Say No to Coal Plants in Sabah” petition.

“Climate change is considered to be one of the biggest threats facing nature and humanity today. We must explore using alternative, green energy sources to help mitigate climate change and preserve the planet for the future generation. Malaysia has been blessed with a rich natural heritage, and we should pour our efforts into conserving our natural treasures,” said Maya Karin.

“It says a lot about the level of concern when you have celebrities
such as Maya Karin stepping up to sign this petition,” stated Dr. Rahimatsah Amat, WWF-Malaysia’s Borneo Programme Chief Technical Officer, who commended the well known Malaysian figure for her courage to stand up for climate change issues.

The petition was launched by a coalition of local Non-Governmental Organisations in Sabah late last year to urge the Government to opt for alternative energy solutions for the State’s urgent energy woes. Members of the public have been signing up at Green SURF’s members’ offices and events. There is also an online version which can be signed by visiting the webpage.

Green SURF (Sabah Unite to Re-Power the Future), is a coalition of five prominent Non Governmental Organisations (NGO), Land Empowerment Animals and People (LEAP), Partners of Community Organisations (PACOS Trust), Sabah Environmental Protection Association (SEPA), the Malaysian Nature Society’s Sabah Branch and WWF-Malaysia. “Sabah has been the leader in conservation work in the region and can also become the leader in green energy by harnessing biomass energy production via palm oil waste materials,” reiterated Rahimatsah on behalf of Green SURF.

“Malaysia is at a crossroads and decisions we make now will forever have an impact on Sabah and the nation’s natural treasures in this State. Let us make the right choices for climate change and become a world class model of green energy,” added Rahimatsah.

Sabah is a place envied in the region for its natural wonders - the
sea to the mountains and forests. The State is rich in natural resources, which are of importance not only to the entire nation, but also the world.

Having a coal-fired power plant is also not in line with management plans such as the Sabah Shoreline Management Plan nor with the Sabah Development Corridor as Sabah aims to be the most liveable place in Asia by 2025.

“Sabahans value this and do not want to risk damaging this “Gift from God”, as bringing in a coal-fired plant would damage the world class conservation reputation that we have worked so hard for,” concluded Rahimatsah.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

New players sprout ahead of green energy law

By Lee Wei Lian

source :

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 18 — New power producers are emerging as Malaysia pushes to boost the renewable energy sector but mandatory purchases could burden Tenaga Nasional Berhad.

The government is aiming to have Malaysia derive 5 per cent of its energy needs from renewable sources by 2050, excluding hydro power, and is planning to table a renewable energy law in Parliament this year which is expected to take effect in 2011.

The law could introduce the so called feed-in-tariff (FIT) scheme, similar to that used in Germany, whereby Tenaga Nasional would be compelled to buy electricity generated from solar, wind and other renewable sources from households or companies at a premium price.

Berjaya Corporation Berhad’s wholly-owned subsidiary Berjaya Solar Sdn Bhd announced last week that it is planning to develop a RM180million 10MW solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant at Bukit Tagar, Selangor.

Another company, Red Solar Sdn Bhd, announced plans to collaborate with local authorities to install facilities that can feed cities, special economic zones, university campuses and villages with solar energy.

Tenaga already has a relatively high reserve margin, which is the amount of electricity it must hold in reserve, and is also contractually bound to buy electricity from independent power producers which produce power with natural gas subsidised by the government. A move to mandate that it also buys renewable energy at a premium could burden the utility giant even further.

OSK’s head of research Chris Eng says however that the proposal to boost the green energy sector by mandating that Tenaga Nasional buys renewable energy is unlikely to hurt the utility giant as the amount of electricity that can be generated from renewable sources would be minimal and not significant.

“We have too much cloud cover which affects solar power generation and we are in a dead wind zone and the wind is not strong enough to generate wind power,” Eng told The Malaysian Insider. “And we don’t have geothermal energy sources.”

The FIT schemes implemented around the world also tend to be not permanent but temporary incentives and FIT rates in countries such as Germany are reduced by about 5 per cent every year.

When contacted, Tenaga declined to comment for this story, saying that it wanted to wait for more details of the FIT to emerge.

Both Berjaya and Red Solar said that government support was important for the success of the renewable energy projects.

“The successful engagement of the project entails support from the government, primarily in terms of policies for renewable energy,” said Berjaya in a filing with Bursa on Feb 9. “In this context, the government’s approval of the Pusat Tenaga Malaysia (Malaysia Energy Centre) proposal for a new feed-in-tariff mechanism that provides preferential electricity tariffs as incentive for producers of renewable energy sources is imperative.”

Berjaya Solar is expected to commence development of the 10MW solar PV power plant in the second half of 2010, subject to approval of the FIT policy and the project, and it is expected to be commissioned by 2011.

The plant will be developed on a 50-hectare site, and will be capable of generating enough electricity for 3,000 homes. The power generated will be connected to the national grid to supply electricity nationwide.

Berjaya said that it has studied similar solar farms in Germany and Spain and has established relationships with PV manufacturers such as EQ Solar which is building a solar panel manufacturing plant in Johor.

Red Solar said it would be working with Silicon Valley-based TCTI Inc and the Perak State Economic Development Corporation.

Red Solar CEO Rais Hussin Mohamed Ariff cited Spain as an example of successful FIT implementation, saying that FIT rates in Spain were four times that of conventionally generated electricity and that sales of renewable energy soared from 600MW in 2007 to 2,511MW in 2008.

“At this point, Malaysia has to choose whether we wish to be a follower or a leader in this sector,” Rais was quoted by Bernama as saying in December. “In Malaysia all that the solar industry asks for is a workable policy on feed-in tariffs that reduce over time and are eliminated in three to five years so that Malaysia can meet its solar target of five per cent of overall energy generation.”

FIT incentives have helped solar power increase its share of the energy mix in Germany from 4 per cent to about 19 per cent currently but the country has been cutting down on subsidies in order to make the renewable energy sector more competitive and efficient and the German government proposed last month that the FIT be cut by 15 per cent.

A number of other countries are also looking at implementing FIT including Australia and China.

The Najib administration has said that it committed to making Malaysia a leader in green energy and technology as it would be a source of economic growth in the future.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said in Abu Dhabi last month that current efforts would increase the availability of renewable energy in Malaysia from the current 50MW to 2,000MW by 2020.