Conference attracts over 25 energy ministers and leaders


KUCHING: Sarawak Energy shared its renewable energy journey at the recently concluded Singapore International Energy Week (SIEW) 2021.

This year’s edition brought together global energy decision makers, international organisation leaders and industry captains who shared their insights as well as perspectives under the theme ‘Advancing the Energy Transition.’

Sarawak Energy Group chief executive officer Datuk Sharbini Suhaili was on the panel at the inaugural Singapore-International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) High-Level Forum at the conference.

“The forum, themed ‘investing in an inclusive and just energy transition’ featured over 25 energy ministers and leaders.

“The session opened with keynote addresses from Kwasi Kwarteng, United Kingdom Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy; Dr Ith Praing, Cambodia Secretary of State for Ministry of Mines and Energy and Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

“They each elaborated on the role that the global energy transition would play in achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement which includes limiting the temperature increase to 1.5°C,” Sarawak Energy said on Monday (Nov 1).

During the panel, Sharbini shared that the Sarawak government spearheaded renewable energy transition in the state about a decade ago with the launch of Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE) which leveraged on the development of renewable hydropower.

“Our early transition into renewable hydropower has decarbonised our power system by over 70 per cent in the last decade, while supporting Sarawak’s industrial growth and creating job opportunities. Hydropower development has also enabled Sarawakians to enjoy amongst the most competitive tariffs in Malaysia and the Asean region.

“As Malaysia’s largest renewable energy developer, we are also making progress towards achieving 100 per cent electrification in Sarawak by 2025 or earlier, through various rural electrification initiatives.”

He emphasised that successful climate action while building a more sustainable energy future is a collective responsibility.

“We believe that governments can work together with energy leaders, civil society and the public to create enabling policies to accelerate the development and sharing of renewable energy to advance this transition.”

Sharbini also mentioned how renewable hydropower had enabled energy sharing as well as research into alternatives renewable.

“In 2016, we have begun sharing our renewable energy resources with West Kalimantan, Indonesia, and by 2024 we will begin commencing power export to our neighbours in Sabah.

“Our abundant hydropower resources has also created a strong foundation for us to explore other renewable energy sources including floating solar and green hydrogen production.”

In 2019, Sarawak Energy built Southeast Asia’s first integrated hydrogen production plant and refuelling station in Kuching and is currently developing a 50MW floating solar in the reservoir of its Batang Ai Hydroelectric Plant.

Also on the panel were Dr Prasert Sinsukprasert, Director-General of the Department of Alternative Energy Development and Efficiency, Ministry of Energy, Thailand; Kara Owen, British High Commissioner to Singapore; Paulo Kautoke, Senior Director for Trade, Oceans and Natural Resources, Commonwealth Secretariat; Isabel Chatterton, Regional Industry Director, Infrastructure and Natural Resources – Asia Pacific, International Finance Corporation.

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