Ministry confident of 5.5% renewable energy share by 2015

KOTA KINABALU, Nov 14 (Bernama) -- The Energy, Green Technology and Water Ministry is confident of achieving the target of 5.5 per cent renewable energy (RE) share in the total energy mix by 2015.

Minister Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili said the Renewable Energy Policy and Action Plan is in line with the Green Technology Policy launched by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in July 2009.

"Overall, we have already achieved two per cent share of RE in total installed capacity, and we are confident of achieving the target of 5.5 per cent through the use of solar, mini hydro, geothermal and biogas in the next two years," he told a media conference in conjunction with the Sustainable Energy Convention at 1Borneo Hypermall near here today.

The two-day meet beginning today, organised by the ministry, Energy Commission of Malaysia and Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd, was opened by Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman.

Najib was earlier reported as saying that Malaysia targets a 5.5 per cent RE share of installed capacity by 2015 and 11 per cent by 2020.

Maximus said the policy could help the country avoid 42.2 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions by 2020 or about a 40 per cent reduction.

Sabah has the potential to generate 2,706MW of RE from oil palm-based biomass, geothermal and hydro-electricity, making it the lead state in RE development and production, he said.

"We have some hydro and we have biomass, and based on preliminary wind speed studies, Sabah also has also the potential to generate wind energy in Kudat,Kota Belud, Sipitang, Mount Kinabalu and Labuan.

"But not all this energy can be used due to geographical factors and the need for more in-depth studies," he said.

Earlier in his speech, he said the state now generates 36.5MW of RE or 31 per cent of the national total, with 121MW connected to the grid, a major contribution to national efforts to reduce dependence on fossil fuels.

To improve the electricity distribution in the state, the government needs to spend RM1.4 billion to replace 80 per cent of the existing bare conductors and aerial bundled cables, he said, adding such measures would provide Sabah a more stable electricity supply and help achieve the target of a 20 per cent capacity margin by 2020.