Call for clearer national policy for energy

  • Business
  • Wednesday, 18 Jun 2008

KOTA KINABALU: A clearer national policy is needed for Malaysia’s energy use and management to ensure it is sustainable.

This was generally agreed on by panellists in the discussion on “Entrepreneurial Promise of Renewable Energy to Meet Energy Demand”, held on the second day of the International CEOs Conference yesterday.

Bunn Nagara, an associate editor of The Star, said there seemed to be no definite long-term plan for energy use in the country, which too often depended on where trends were heading and was fraught with competing jurisdictions at government level.

“It (energy policy) seems to be going where it is trendy at the time and then there’s the problem of jurisdiction with different ministries having different policies,” he said, adding that leadership also had a role to play.

Datuk Saw Choo Boon

Nagara said, for example, in the 1990s, the Government had a clear policy of not considering nuclear energy as an option.

“Now, with crude oil price at these (high) levels, several cabinet ministers have voiced their opinions on the use of nuclear energy, which, to me, is an uneconomical energy source that is also hazardous,” he added.

Shell Malaysia country chairman Datuk Saw Choo Boon said governments must play a role in getting legislation that would authorise technologies that used carbon capture and storage.

“In Shell, we’ve a policy of making biofuel a significant business within our portfolio in the decades to come,” he said.

He added that the oil majors today were not just looking at fossil fuels alone as a source of energy supply.

He said governments must face the three hard truths of rapidly growing energy demand, the expectations of the world’s population to have higher standards of living, and the fact that conventional oil and natural gas were becoming harder to find and produce with escalating costs.

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