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 Local

Vast openings in green energy sector

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Maximus (2nd from left) officiating the conference together with Yee (far left) and Dolly (2nd from right) and Peter (far right)

14th November, 2017

By MOHD IZHAM HASHIM

KOTA KINABALU: The rapid growth of the green energy sector augurs vast opportunities for Sabah to lead the way in championing the development of renewable power in the country.

“The abundant amount of natural resources offers strong prospects for the development of the renewable energy sector which already accounts for 35 percent ( with exception of gas)of the state’s total power generation capacity,” said Minister of Energy, Green Technology and Water, Datuk Dr Maximus Johnity Ongkili.

Speaking at the press conference after officiating the Conference on Sabah Renewable Energy & Greentech yesterday, Maximus noted the development of mini hydro plants and the rapid growth of the state’s solar energy sector which is progressing rapidly in the districts of Kudat and Beaufort.

“Kudat, among the sunniest district in the nation, is tipped to become Sabah’s hub for green energy through its strong potential for solar photovoltaic (PV) electricity generation,” he said, noting the northern district receives an ample amount of solar irradiance.

However, Maximus acknowledged there is still much work that needs to be done due to the lack of injection points in the district to receive electricity generated from solar power providers to feed into the main grid.

He also added that other renewable energy initiatives are being implemented in the state such as biogas and biomass which looks into converting waste to generate electricity.

“But there are still important challenges in this sector which relies on steady supply of waste materials, namely empty palm oil fruit bunches (EFB) but companies which have their own mills shouldn’t face any problems as they have access to regular supply of EFB.”

Earlier during the ceremony marking the state of the 2-day conference, Maximus also witnessed twin Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signings between Universiti Tenaga Nasional (UNITEN) and MECC Engineering Sdn Bhd, and Bell Corporation Sdn Bhd.

The MOU agreement between UNITEN, wholly owned subsidiary of Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) and MECC aims to improve renewable energy undertake research and development by optimising MECC technologies into generating renewable power from palm oil mill sources biomass.

Furthermore, it also seeks to develop human capital development programmes for post graduate programmes and technical training as well as exchange of expertise including skilled personnel of both parties.

Maximus underlined Sabah is benefitting greatly from federal government policies and expanding investment in energy infrastructure and facilities to improve electricity supply in the state’s rural as well as urban areas.

“This includes the installation of electricity infrastructure to link rural villages to the main grid, and upgrading electricity facilities and distribution in urban areas to reduce disruptions and provide regular electricity supply to meet growing energy needs of development and urbanization,” he said.

Maximus said the government is focused in reducing Sabah’s electricity outages and disruptions through initiatives spearheaded by the ministry, Pemandu Associates Sdn Bhd and Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB). The move outlined a comprehensive strategy and practical plans to ensuring the state’s system average interruption duration index (SAIDI), which indicates power outage in minutes per customer, would be reduced to 100 minutes by 2020.

“While there are some delays due to the slow processing of land, realignments due to the ongoing construction of the Pan Borneo Highway, however I’m confident that our efforts will bear fruit next year and the following year in reflecting the gradual reduction on electricity outages and disruption in Sabah,” he said.

Among those who attended the officiating ceremony include Datuk Dr Yee Moh Chai, Chairman of the Sustainable energy Development Authority (SEDA), Project Director of Regtech2017, Dolly Jimayol and Datuk Ir. Peter Lajumin, Chairman of REASabah.

   
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