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Sabah has gained from policies implemented by the Federal Government in relation to renewable energy, Chief Minister Tan Sri Musa Aman said.

He proudly noted that based on a research by Business Monitor International (BMI), Malaysia is placed among the top three nations for renewable energy investment this year, an achievement resulting from the government’s strong policies such as the National Renewable Energy Policy and Action Plan which aims at achieving 2,080 megawatts of solar power capacity by 2020.

According to recent reports, Malaysia, through its Economic Transformation Programme, aims to achieve 1,250 megawatts of solar power capacity to be connected to the grid, also by 2020.

Sabah, he said, is committed to contribute to the goal with various studies on hydroelectric resources been carried out to review and identify the potential of power generation in the State, with a focus on hydro and biomass resources as promising solutions to address long-term requirements in Sabah.

He noted that currently, the total capacity connected to the grid is 42.3 megawatts of which 33 megawatts are from biomass and the rest from mini-hydro.

In relation this, he singled out efforts to transform Kudat into the state’s centre for renewable energy.

“Kudat’s sunny climate makes it an ideal location for solar photovoltaic electricity generation and to date, some 58 megawatts of solar PV has been approved for construction in the district by the Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water and the Sustainable Energy Development Authority,” he said in his keynote address at the Scaling Renewable Energy in Sabah seminar organised by the Institute for Development Studies (IDS), Tuesday.

Musa said there are also plans to set up a research centre for renewable wind and solar PV energy in Kudat, which would see the collaboration between local universities and Asean energy institutes.

“These efforts are part of the government’s plan to reduce diesel subsidies in the country and diminish greenhouse gas emissions.

“I understand that the Federal Government will also look into harnessing wind energy in both Kudat and Kota Marudu, where studies done by Universiti Malaysia Terengganu and power agencies from China and Thailand have determined that up to 300 megawatts of wind energy can be generated,” he added.

He expressed hope that the seminar will give the State Government some directions on how Sabah could exploit renewable energy.

He also noted that the Federal Government encourages the development of renewable energy in efforts to steer the country toward consuming sustainable energy and turn to a low-carbon economy.

Meanwhile, IDS Chairman Datuk Seri Clarence Bongkos Malakun said although renewable energy development is still in its infancy stage in Sabah, the government has been providing necessary policy guidelines, infrastructure, incentives, technical and financial assistance to fully capitalise on the huge potential of renewable energy sources in the State.

He acknowledged that the State Government has also encouraged the private sector, stakeholders and relevant associations to focus on the benefits of renewable energy in Sabah.

However, he said the concept of renewable energy must be understood by all, especially policymakers, academics and research institutions, hence the one-day seminar. – Leonard Alaza

Source: 04/10/2017


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