INGENIEUR Sustainable Energy – The Future is Here By Ir. Akmal Rahimi Abu Samah Sustainable Energy Development Authority (SEDA) C limate change has become one of the most discussed issues in the world that needs everyone’s attention and action. In Malaysia, Sustainable Energy Development Authority (SEDA) together with the Ministry of Energy, Green Technology & Water has taken the responsibility of transiting our country’s energy landscape from one that is heavily dependent upon fossil fuel to one using renewable energy. Scientists have largely agreed that climate change is caused primarily by carbon emissions due to human activities. Climate change needs to be addressed in two ways: ● ● Climate change mitigation – the Government should incorporate policies to facilitate energy transition to decarbonise especially the energy and transportation sectors. These two sectors constitute approximately 80% of the country’s total carbon em issions. Decarbonising of the energy sector will require deliberate policies to phase out the use of fossil fuel (e.g. coal, gas and oil), increasing the use of renewable energy (e.g. solar, hydro and bioenergy) and enhancing energy demand management. ● ● Climate change adaptation – this will require adaptation across all critical sectors (e.g. agriculture, power & water utilities and infrastructure). In Malaysia, we have nearly 84% of coal and gas in our electricity capacity mix and this fossil fuel generation will continue to be added to the system. Continuous development of conventional thermal plants will only exacerbate the climate crisis and if the fuel needs to be imported, then true national energy security is questionable. We also need to ask ourselves: can renewable energy replace conventional thermal energy? The 6 6 VOL VOL 75 55 JULY-SEPTEMBER JUNE 2013 2018 answer is yes. A more pressing question is how much time do we have before the global average temperature increase tips over the 2°C threshold. Some scientists estimate that as few as 10 years will be needed to achieve global carbon neutrality. Therefore, the time to transit to renewable energy is now. Renewable Energy Programmes in Malaysia Malaysia is to reduce its carbon footprint especially in terms of energy. This reduction in carbon emissions is gaining importance with the ratification by the Malaysian Government on the Paris Climate Agreement at the end of 2016. Malaysia’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) is to reduce our Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions intensity of GDP by 45% by 2030 relative to the emissions intensity of GDP in 2005.