August 09 2003 - THE Government has so far approved 48 projects under theSmall Renewable Energy Programme (SREP) with total capacity of 304MW.
Energy, Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Amar Leo Moggie saidout of this capacity, 87 per cent of 257MW is connected to the NationalGrid.
He was speaking at a signing ceremony between Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd(SESB) and Kalansa Energy Corp for development of a plant under the SREPin Sandakan on Thursday.
The minister lauded SESB’s effort to promote renewable energy, citingseveral Renewable Energy Power Purchase Agreements (REPPA) that it hadsigned with renewable energy producers.
SESB’s willingness to buy electricity from them at slightly higher pricesthan what is decided in REPPA negotiations, which is 14-17 sen/kwh, showsSESB’s readiness to ensure success of the government policy to increasethe use of renewable energy.
This positive step shown by SESB should be emulated by larger utilitiessuch as Tenaga Nasional Bhd in encouraging the use of renewable energy,Leo Moggie added.
He said while Malaysia is blessed with abundant sources of natural energy,these sources of fossil fuels like petroleum and gas will sooner or laterbe exhausted.
Leo Moggie said under the Eight Malaysia Plan (2001-2005), the Governmenthas made renewable energy the fifth source under the national energy mix,in addition to oil, gas, coal and hydro.
The SREP was launched in May 2001.
Leo Moggie said that in addition to meeting the energy needs of thecountry, the SREP also helps reduce dependence on fossil fuels, whichindirectly helps reduce dependency on imports of fuel from overseas.
He said Malaysia’s participation in the Kyoto Protocol in September 2002entitles it to take part in the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), whichis one of the flexible mechanisms under the protocol that can be used bymember countries to reduce emission of green house gasses that will havean impact on climate change problems.
Leo Moggie said in Malaysia the use of biomass waste, especially oil palmwaste, has a huge potential considering that the country is a leader inthe oil palm industry.
“Waste such as empty fruit bunches can be utilised to generate electricityas an addition to the existing capacity. Heat and energy from biomass cangenerate energy with minimum carbon dioxide produced, he added.