Berkeley Professor offers Sarawak Chief Minister support for state energy planning

Berkeley Professor offers Sarawak Chief Minister support for state energy planning

Professor Kammen presenting the research findings in Kuching

(KUCHING / SARAWAK / MALAYSIA) Today, Professor Daniel M. Kammen and Dr. Rebekah Shirley from the University of California, Berkeley have publicly presented their research findings on clean energy options for Sarawak in Kuching. Their research and experience shows that both grid connected and distributed renewable energy systems have significant market potential, can successfully be implemented and attract international funding. They could serve as a clean alternative to mega-dams and play a key role in rural electrification in Sarawak.

Professor Kammen stressed that the case of his home state California proves that fast growth of renewable energy is possible and with it, the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions to mitigate climate change. The international community has set aside funds within the framework of the Paris agreement to invest into renewables in industrializing countries that Sarawak could access.

Dr. Shirley documented with her research findings how the energy growth assumptions under the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE) vastly exceed the organic growth scenarios and even excel China’s energy growth rates. Gabriel Wynn and Adrian Lasimbang, two small-scale energy practitioners, shared their experiences with implementing micro-hydro and solar photovoltaic systems in rural areas in Sabah and Sarawak. They showed that strong village leadership, appropriate technology and training can ensure success in the rural energy landscape.

Over the last three years, the team from the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory (RAEL) of the University of California, Berkeley, has developed an energy-planning model designed to identify feasible clean energy opportunities for Sarawak. Professor Kammen also collaborated with civil society actors in Sabah, whose actions led to the cancellation of a 300 MW coal plant slated for construction in Sarawak’s neighboring state.

In a proposal, the researchers, civil society members and practitioners have offered their support for collaborating with the government on Sarawak’s energy options. They are waiting for a response from the Chief Minister Adenan Satem.

The lunch event was held in Kuching and attended by over 90 people. Sarawak Energy representatives, government officials as well as media and civil society were present and there was wide participation in the discussion.


Large dams can only serve as last resort, acknowledged the Malaysian Ministry of the Environment.




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