Malaysia poised to be Asean’s RE centre with natural gas as core of energy mix, says PM
26 Jun 2023
Malaysia is set to position itself as Asean’s centre of electricity interconnection and integration to facilitate the sharing of renewable energy (RE) resources, encourage investment and promote sustainable development in the region, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
At the same time, Malaysia will continue to see natural gas ― one of the cleanest burning hydrocarbons ― as the core of its energy mix in its transition towards a low-carbon economy, Anwar said at his keynote address at the Energy Asia conference here.
“Investors and financiers will risk losing out in not turning towards Asia, which is endowed with vast amounts of natural resources, potential renewable energy and a growing population that is not averse to co-innovation and is increasingly appreciative of a green economy,” Anwar said during his opening speech at Energy Asia 2023 on Monday (June 26).
Anwar said that demand for energy in Asia, currently 75% is derived from hydrocarbons, is expected to double by 2030.
He underlined that Asean has the potential to be developed into a player in the net zero value chain given its rich biodiversity resources and high percentage of forest coverage, offering abundant nature-based solutions.
“In addition to developing hydrogen and carbon capture storage opportunities, with the innovation of batteries and electric storage well underway, there is an opportunity to develop the rare earth minerals and establish a conducive ecosystem to strengthen the supply chain,” Anwar said.
“Developing these resources and potential requires access to financing, technology and innovation, the right policy framework, and skill sets for the future,” he added.
Despite this, Anwar stressed that due to the perception of higher macroeconomic risk and the absence of deep capital markets, developing economies ― like those in Asean ― face higher capital costs for clean energy projects.
“Achieving the climate goal for the region will require significant traction in clean energy investment,” he said.
Nonetheless, Anwar said the transition to net zero does not need to be a “zero-sum equation” ― meaning it should not be one of lowering emissions at the expense of economic growth or vice versa.
He stressed that no group of countries should be able to dictate a country’s energy transition pathway as each country is at a different state of development and has a varied number of problems to address.
“Instead, Asia must take every opportunity to further dialogue and actions around how we can responsibly plan to enable every country its right to develop and lower carbon aspirations,” he said.
Further, Anwar said he believes hydrocarbons will continue to be an important part of Asean’s energy mix to drive economic growth and development, despite nine of ten member countries having pledged to net-zero targets.
“At the same time, we recognise the importance of managing methane emissions as a highly potent greenhouse gas and have committed to join the global methane pledge to cut emissions by 30% by 2030, compared to 2020 levels,” he added.
Source: The Edge Malaysia