Sarawak lowers Co2 emissions by 77%

Manmade carbon emissions have seen CO2 levels rise two thirds in a span of a few centuries. File photos: AFP

KUCHING: Sarawak has managed to reduce carbon emissions from its power system by approximately 77 percent since 2010 by building hydropower plants.

“We commissioned the Batang Ai power plant over 30 years ago and Bakun and Murum as of now, as well as some mini hydropower stations scattered around the state,” said Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) Power chief executive officer James Ung.

He said in 2010, the state’s generation mix was predominantly from thermal power plants which utilised coal and gas.

“Today, our generation mix is now 70 percent renewable hydropower and this has drastically reduced carbon emissions. With that, we are contributing to a reduction in the nation’s greenhouse emissions as well as globally,” he said during SEB’s Business Update 2020 virtual session at iCube Innovation here today.

Ung said another 15 percent of Sarawak’s power was generated from coal while the other 15 percent was generated through gas power plants.

“We develop a holistic balance in our generation mix – meaning we need to balance our energy in terms of power security, sustainability, and affordability of our energy in order to meet our current and future demand,” he said.

Ung said SEB ensured that hydropower projects were developed in line with International Hydropower Association (IHA) hydropower sustainability assessment protocols.

“We are working closely with the International Commission on Large Dams (ICOLD) and we are also a member of the Malaysian National Committee on Large Dams,” he said.

In addition, Ung said SEB was committed to ensuring its work was aligned with the United Nations’ (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in various aspects, including supplying clean and renewable energy to the community.

At the same time, he said SEB focused on community engagement as well as the preservation of culture and heritage, especially among the Penans in the Bakun and Murum areas.

“We also emphasise on the health and quality of life for the local communities by improving their logistics, water and electricity supply, and so on,” he said.