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Published: Monday July 21, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Tuesday July 22, 2014 MYT 1:53:22 PM

Catalysing green growth: 4 keys to a sustainable future

The Malaysian Green Technology Corporation (GreenTech Malaysia) has identified four flagships to catalyse green growth in Malaysia – the Green Malaysia Plan, Green Procurement, Electric Mobility and Sustainable Living.

The agency that comes under the purview of the Energy, Green Technology and Water Ministry is pushing for the use of green technology to power socio-economic growth.

“In 2009, our Prime Minister launched the National Green Technology Policy which calls for the national economy to be accelerated through the use of technology, while at the same time, promoting sustainable development,” says GreenTech Malaysia chief executive officer Ahmad Hadri Haris at a media briefing.

He says green technology is the development and application of products, equipment and systems in a way that minimises degradation of the environment, conserves the use of energy and natural resources, and emits low or zero greenhouse gas emissions.

Under the Green Malaysia Plan, strategies and action plans that promote green technology in the areas of energy, buildings, transport, water and waste management will be formulated as these sectors are major contributors towards carbon emissions. A masterplan on this will be completed soon.

Malaysian Green Technology Corporation chief executive officer Ahmad Hadri Haris.
GreenTech CEO Ahmad Hadri Haris.

Already in place is the RM3.5bil green technology financing scheme, meant to promote investments in green technology and projects.

“As of June, there is RM1.9bil of approved funds for green projects. We are encouraging more applications for the remaining RM1.5bil or so,” says Ahmad Hadri, adding that the benefits include a 60% government guarantee on financing amount and a 2% rebate per annum on financing interest rate.

A total of 141 projects have been approved and financed since 2010. These green projects are estimated to have saved emissions of 2.29 million tonnes of carbon dioxide to date.

The second flagship of Green Procurement advocates the purchase of environmentally-friendly goods. The first step is to get local companies to change their procurement habits, and to manufacture and market green products and services. Last year, the agency launched MyHijau, a directory of green products and services. Awareness campaigns and exhibitions will be held to encourage both public and private sectors to adopt the habit of green procurement.

“Among the initiatives we have launched is a blueprint on green practices and green technology with the Royal Malaysian Police. Trials have been performed for the Revolo hybrid engine system on their vehicles that can reduce fuel consumption by 25% to 30%, thereby the correlating carbon emissions,” says Ahmad Hadri.

In the third flagship of Electric Mobility, the agency has set a target of 10% market share for energy-efficient vehicles by 2020. From January to June, 224 electric vehicles were sold. The use of electric vehicle started in 2011. As for hybrid cars, 13,506 were sold last year and so far this year, 6,044.

Last August, GreenTech launched a six-month pilot project to test the feasibility of electric-powered buses as a mode of public transportation in the Klang Valley. During the recent Sukma Perlis Games, the vehicle was used to ferry people to stadiums as part of efforts to drum up public awareness on electric mobility.

Later, comparisons were made with conventional diesel buses. For a distance of 100km travelled, the electric bus consumed just RM32.99 of electricity whereas the diesel bus required RM100 worth of fuel. Carbon emission (from power generation per megawatt hour for the electric vehicle versus diesel per km for the diesel bus) for the electric vehicle was lesser by 33%.

With the electric buses proving their environmental-friendliness with significantly lower noise and smoother operation, five such buses will be introduced in Malacca by year-end. Next year, public transport service provider Panorama Melaka will use another 20 electric buses in the state in line with the Malacca state government’s vision of creating a green technology town.

Also in the pipeline is the Cohesive Mobility Solution initiative, which will see the region’s first electric vehicle car-sharing programme. It will provide LRT commuters with a means of transport between stations and their final destinations, to overcome problems of unreliable bus or taxi services. GreenTech will launch an Electric Mobility Blueprint soon to boost the electric vehicle industry.

“In the long run, this will help improve quality of air and life as well as lower carbon emissions and consumption of fuel by about RM1bil by 2020, and almost immediately, we’ll have 7,000 less vehicles entering the city by next year. Our 2020 target for this programme is to have 3,500 electric vehicle cars, 73,00 public charging stations for these cars and 128,000 users,” says Ahmad Hadri.

The Sustainable Living strategy will see the creation of low carbon cities. So far, GreenTech has teamed up with municipal councils in Subang Jaya and Petaling Jaya in Selangor and Hang Tuah Jaya in Malacca, as well as the Iskandar Development Authority in Johor, to turn these townships into green and smart cities that hopefully, will be adopted by other local authorities.

The GreenTech building in Bangi, Selangor, is itself a showcase for sustainable energy measures. Known as the Green Energy Office (GEO), it has energy-efficient characteristics that reduce its building energy index to one-tenth of that found in conventional office buildings.

Among the green features are an energy-saving cooling and ventilation system (this includes cooling elements embedded in the floor) and a solar energy system that provides up to half of the electricity needs of the building.

Tags / Keywords: GreenTech Malaysia, green technology, green energy, Green Malaysia Plan, Green Procurement, Electric Mobility, Sustainable Living

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