Sunday, January 16, 2011

Green Township Framework to be ready by year end

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 18, 2010 -- A framework on developing green townships will be ready by end of the year, Energy, Green Technology and Water Ministry's senior undersecretary for green technology sector Mohd Rosli Abdullah said.

He said the Green Township Framework would outline comprehensive guidelines for new and existing townships in the country to go green by incorporating environmental friendly technologies.

He added that utilisation of land use, traffic and other infrastructure and measuring the level of carbon dioxide would also be among the indicators for a green township.

"It is almost completed. The formulation of the framework is headed by the ministry with collaboration from other agencies including the Works Ministry, Town and Country Planning Department, Malaysian Institute of Planners and local governments," he told reporters after attending the First International Young Planners Forum 2010 here Monday.

The one-day event was opened by Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Seri Peter Chin Fah Kui.

Putrajaya and Cyberjaya have been picked to spearhead the project and to become models of green township in the country.

Towards this end, Rosli said government offices in Putrajaya had targeted to reduce its energy and water consumption by 10 per cent by end of this year.

"While we try to incorporate energy-saving technologies in buildings, we are also conducting awareness campaigns to educate staff and building managers on the importance of reducing energy and water consumption in everyday activities," he added.

Earlier in his speech, Chin urged all sectors including members of the public to seriously put in efforts to help cut greenhouse gas emissions, saying the government had pledged to reduce emission by up to 40 per cent by 2020.

"Whether we can achieve it, it is up to all of us. If we just depends on top-down process, I doubt we will get any results," he added.


Towards a green nation and economy

Thestar: Saturday November 27, 2010

Secretary-General Energy, Green Technology and Water Ministry

In the pursuit of sustainable development, policymakers must find a way to strike a balance between economic efficiency and environmental protection. THE global community is confronted with challenges related to the environment and climate change. As a result, many countries are promoting sustainable development by investing in green technology in the form of cleaner low-carbon transport and energy systems, “smart” electricity grids, energy efficiency, renewable energy as well as in green research and development.
Green technology signifies a global paradigm shift in which economic aspiration combines with resource productivity and conservation to spearhead sustainable development.
Under a Cabinet reshuffle in April 2009, the Energy, Green Technology and Water Ministry (Kettha) was given the mandate to promote sustainable development through the adoption of green technologies in the various economic sectors of the country.
In pushing for a low-carbon economy, the Government launched the National Green Technology Policy on July 24, 2009, which serves as the basis for all Malaysians to enjoy an improved quality of life, by ensuring that the objectives of our national development policies will continue to be balanced with environmental considerations.
The Government also hopes to create a new avenue of growth for the country from green technology, in line with the New Economic Model that was unveiled recently.
The country’s vision for a low-carbon growth trajectory will be driven by four main pillars – energy, economy, environment and society.
To strengthen the platform for our green agenda, the National Green Technology Council was established to spearhead green technology application in the country. This council is chaired by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and supported by a steering committee and five working groups on industry, research and innovation, human capital, promotion and public awareness and transportation.
The Green Technology Policy also outlines five strategic thrusts towards implementing green technologies in the country (for details, go to
In the transition to a low-carbon economy, the key issue for our policymakers is how to strike a balance between economic efficiency and environmental protection as the driver for economic growth and environmental sustainability. This needs to take into consideration the importance of promoting the notion of the environment and eco-efficiency as a business opportunity, rather than a cost item.
The following are examples of the initiatives undertaken by the ministry to address the challenges of climate change and reduce our carbon footprint:

Energy efficiency
The Malaysian Industrial Energy Efficiency Improvement Programme represents one of the main efforts undertaken to improve energy efficiency in the industrial sector. Since 2001, fiscal incentives had been introduced by the Government to promote efficient use of energy such as pioneer status, investment tax allowance, duty import exemption and sales tax exemption.
The ministry was now in the midst of finalising the Energy Efficiency Master Plan with clear goals and targets in the industrial, building and residential sectors, so as to coordinate and implement energy efficiency and conservation programmes in a systematic and holistic manner.

Renewable energy
The Government approved the Renewable Energy Policy and Action Plan in April 2010. This policy is aimed at promoting long-term sustainability by reducing our dependence on fossil fuels for electricity generation and at the same time stimulate a new growth industry for the country.
To encourage renewable energy generation in the country, the Government will be implementing the Feed-in Tariff Mechanism which allows electricity produced from such sources like biomass, biogas, mini-hydro and solar to be sold to power utilities at a fixed premium price and for a specific duration.

Green buildings
The Green Building Index (GBI) is a rating tool to grade environment-friendly buildings and the Government is providing fiscal incentives to buildings which are GBI-certified.
Owners of GBI-certified buildings are entitled to income tax exemptions, equivalent to the additional capital expenditure, to green their building. Buyers of green buildings from developers will also be exempted from stamp duty equivalent to the additional cost incurred to green their building.

Sustainable transport
To facilitate the use of electric vehicles (EV) in the country, the Government is in the process of preparing the EV Infrastructure Roadmap, which includes a fleet test programme for electric vehicles. The implementation of this fleet test will be the benchmark in developing a strategic plan and framework as well as identification of entities that will benefit the electric vehicle industry, in areas of services and new business opportunities.

Green Technology Roadmap
Under the Green Technology Roadmap, a baseline study is currently being conducted to ascertain the overall green technology applications in six sectors, namely, energy, transport, building, water and waste management, manufacturing industries and ICT applications.

Green Technology Financing Scheme
A RM1.5bil soft loan scheme called the Green Technology Financing Scheme (GTFS) was launched by the Government early this year to encourage the participation of companies and entrepreneurs in green technology. The Government bears 2% of the interest rate charged and provides a guarantee of 60% on the financing amount, with the remaining 40% being taken by banking institutions.

Green townships in Putrajaya and Cyberjaya
The ministry, together with the Malaysian Green Technology Corporation (MGTC), is developing a green township framework, a green township rating system based on the Common Carbon Metric (CCM) and carbon

FiT-ted for greener energy push

Thestar: Saturday November 13, 2010

PETALING JAYA: The implementation of feed-in-tariff (FiT) in the middle of next year will put Malaysia on a sustainable path towards promoting a renewable energy (RE) market, said experts. According to the RE/Malaysia Building Integrated Photovoltaic (MBIPV) national project team under the Energy, Green Technology and Water Ministry, the FiT system has, over the years, proven to be an effective and efficient mechanism to encourage the development of sustainable markets for RE.
For example, in Germany, the RE capacity has been raised substantially in just 10 years after the introduction of FiT by its government, making the country the world’s leader now in the technology. Last year, Germany’s RE contribution to total electricity consumption stood at 16.1% and the technology was estimated to have created 300,000 green jobs.

The proven success of FiT is the main reason for its growing popularity all around the world, including in many developing countries such as India and Mongolia.
In Malaysia, FiT forms part of the RE Act that will be tabled in Parliament next month for first reading.
Once passed, it is expected to take effect in the middle of next year, and by then, individuals or business owners can sell the electricity they generate from renewable resources to utility companies such as Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) and Sarawak Energy Bhd at a fixed premium rate for a specific period.

For now, the RE resources eligible under the proposed FiT are biomass (from plantation, agriculture, forestry residues and solid waste); biogas (from plantation, agriculture, forestry residues, animal waste, landfill gas and sewage gas); mini-hydro; and solar photovoltaic.

Nevertheless, consumers may have to pay a little bit more for their monthly electricity bills to support the higher charges being levied on RE next year. A 1% tariff hike to cover the costs associated with the FiT scheme may come into force as early as January, but this will only affect users that consume more than 200kwh a month.

Under the proposed RE Act, a new RE Fund will be created, with contributions coming from the 1% levy on high users’ electricity bill. The RE Fund will be managed by the Sustainable Energy Development Authority (SEDA).

RE/MBIPV national project leader and chief technical adviser Ahmad Hadri Haris (pic) told StarBizWeek via email: “In this case, TNB will disburse the FiT payment to all FiT holders. TNB will only cover a certain displaced cost and claim the difference between the displaced cost and FiT payment from the RE Fund.”

(The displaced cost is the average cost of generating and supplying electricity through the utility’s supply line and up to the point of interconnection with the RE systems.)
“TNB will also be paid an administrative fee for managing the billing and payment system for these FiT owners,” Hadri said.

“As such, it is a win-win solution for all parties – the public can install an RE system and generate revenue; TNB does not have to bear the full cost of FiT but gets the renewable electricity; and the country would benefit from RE deployment such as creation of new green jobs.”

You can make electricity at home and sell it to TNB

Thestar: Thursday November 11, 2010


KUALA LUMPUR: The soon-to-be implemented feed-in-tariff (FiT) mechanism under the Renewable Energy (RE) Act will enable individuals to earn income by selling electricity generated from renewable resources at home.

Under the RE Act, the public will be able to sell electricity generated from RE to utility companies such as Tenaga Nasional Bhd and Sarawak Energy Bhd at a fixed rate for a specific period.
RE/Malaysia Building Integrated Photovoltaic Technology Application (MBIPV) national project team leader and chief technical adviser Ahmad Hadri Haris said that under the RE Act, consumers can install their own renewable resources such as solar panel at home and would be a secondary income for consumers.

“Consumer producing 4KW of electricity at home will be earning more than RM400 a month. It will be a secondary income generator,” he told StarBiz at the sideline of Malakoff Corp Bhd’s 3rd Energy Expert Series yesterday.

Ahmad said consumers would also be able to offset potential tariff hike by setting up RE such as solar panels at home.

“A normal house needs 4KW while the capital required is about RM60,000. However, with FiT, consumers need to pay only 10%, or RM6,000 while the rest will be borne as a loan from a bank.

“The monthly income generated from the 4KW will be RM696 and the monthly repayment is RM456 to the bank, thus earning consumers a net cash of RM240 per month,” Ahmad said.

MBIPV is a national project under the Energy, Green Technology and Water Ministry to promote the use of photovoltaic (PV) technology to tap solar energy and generate electricity for buildings.
Ahmad said the Government was currently in the process of preparing the Act for a first reading in parliament next month.

He said two Acts would need to be passed in parliament for the RE to take off in the country. The first RE Act would focus on RE while the second act was to empower the Sustainable Energy Development Authority (Seda) which will oversee the implementation of RE.

It is part of the Government’s plan to boost renewable energy contribution to Malaysia’s electricity-generation mix from less than 1% in 2009 to around 5.5% by 2015 and to 11% of all electricity generated nationwide in 2020.

Consumers may have to be prepared to pay a little bit more for their monthly electricity bills to support the higher charges being levied on RE next year. A 1% tariff hike to cover cost associated with the FiT scheme may come into force as early as January.

Ahmad said it would be a very minimal impact given that 1% of a RM100 electricity bill would cost RM1. He said some 56% of the nation would not be impacted as they consume less than 200kwh a month.

“Cost of FiT is about 1% incorporated into the electricity tariff for high consumption only (more than 200kwh a month).
“Also 1% is only 0.31 sen/kwh, so it is almost unnoticeable. In return, consumers can generate income from FiT,” Ahmad said.
“FiT is not a subsidy. It is a market support mechanism. It provides an opportunity for all to generate income from producing RE at home,” Ahmad said.
He said the Government would educate the public with an awareness campaign so that consumers can understand the FiT scheme.

The Government has set a target for 2,080 MW or 11% of all electricity generated nationwide in 2020 to be sourced from environment-friendly RE. Currently, less than 1% of the total electricity is generated from RE. In the short term, the Government has set a target of 5.5% of electricity to be generated by RE by 2015.
International FiT expert and independent energy policy consultant and researcher at the Environmental Policy Research Centre of Freie Universitat, Berlin, David Jacobs believes the short-term target of 5.5% is definitely achieveable. He said, however, Malaysia should have a more ambitious long-term target.

“With Malaysia targeting to achieve 25% of total usage of renewable energy by 2050, other countries would be in the 60%-70% range by then.”

Jacobs, who is attached to Universiti Tenaga Nasional’s Institute of Energy Policy and Research for six weeks under the Brain Gain Malaysia programme, said electricity tariffs for FiT should be increased by 2% to 5% instead of 1%. He said the Government’s plan to build a nuclear plant by 2020 under the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) was not cost effective.
According to the ETP handbook, building the twin-unit nuclear plant would require an investment of RM21.3bil up to 2020.

Jacobs said past trends indicated that the total investment cost needed to build a nuclear plant would be twice the cost allocated initially. “The nuclear power plant in Finland was planned with an expected cost of 2.5 billion euros, but the final cost escalated to 5.0 billion euros,” he said.
“Authorities should conduct more economic viability analysis before starting the nuclear plant project. It would make more sense to extend the RE fund for development in that sector,” he said.