Green technologies on display at Huawei Digital Power Malaysia

Huawei Technologies Malaysia chief executive officer Michael Yuan

THE Huawei Malaysia Digital Power Summit 2023 will be held on Feb 15. Huawei Technologies Malaysia chief executive officer Michael Yuan talks to Wong Chun Wai on what to expect from this year's meeting.

1. This will be the second time that Huawei Malaysia is hosting a digital summit with emphasis on net carbon emissions. As a recap, what are the reasons that Huawei has adopted this push, and what has been achieved from the past summit?

This is Huawei Digital Power Malaysia's second time hosting its Digital Power Summit. We feel that this is important as we enter a new era of green technology where the world is inevitably moving towards the construction of a clean, low-carbon, safe, and energy-efficient system to ensure a green and sustainable planet for future generations.

Green Energy will be one of the biggest trends over the next 30 to 40 years. Developing green energy is a widely recognised answer to solve the problems of both climate change and energy security. It will revolutionise our production and consumption, push us to upgrade all industries, and have a profound effect on our economy and society.

Huawei values technology innovation. Our vision is to digitalise traditional energy and to develop green energy to drive energy revolution for a better and greener future. We will do this by integrating digital technologies and power electronics technologies wherever we can.

We have successfully implemented several notable projects that involve the usage of the FusionSolar Smart PV such as the large-scale solar (LSS) project in Asia Meranti, Kamunting Perak, and the commercial and industrial (C&I) solution projects implemented at IKEA, Kuala Lumpur and Tesco/ Lotus outlets, throughout Peninsular Malaysia.

The past summit helped us identify areas of weakness and gaps that needed to be filled, as well as chart the path forward. This is still a work in progress and this year’s Summit will further strengthen and accelerate efforts in that direction.

We will continue to work closely with our customers and partners to build a zero-carbon intelligent society, aligned with Malaysia’s goal of becoming a carbon-neutral nation by 2050.

2. What can we expect from the Malaysia Digital Power Summit 2023, which is scheduled for Feb 15? What would be the highlights?

This Summit will bring together leading green technology practitioners from all over the country to exchange ideas, share best practices and foster a stronger community

It will also showcase the launch of the latest FusionSolar Energy controller: 115KTL as well as the newly launched business division – FusionCharge, which will feature the AC charger & DC Charging Module and the latest version of the Fusion Module for Data Centers which will also include the latest version of the PowerPOD 3.0.

Our Summit also aims to educate the industry and the public on the importance of safety as we move towards higher adoption of renewable energy generation and as we continue to push the envelope on technology which will present new and complex challenges such as safety as residential, commercial and industrial buildings evolve to bring new power plants. In addition to all this, we hope to showcase our solutions that enable companies, industries and Malaysia as a whole to achieve ESG goals. Adopting ESG principles means focusing on the environment, social, and governance which translates to lowering pollution, CO2 output, and reducing waste.

3. How can digitally power innovation technologies impact zero carbon emissions? Can you share with us some examples?

In light of carbon neutrality goals, we need to reverse the rapid growth of energy consumption and CO2 emissions and decouple economic growth from carbon emissions. Becoming low-carbon, electrified, and intelligent is the only way to achieve carbon neutrality, and technological advances are engines that drive the process.

Huawei has taken the initiative to promote intelligent transformation in the power generation industry, leveraging inverters and launching a smart PV solution based on string inverter technology. This solution digitalises power plants and transforms inverters into sensors of subarrays, enabling information collection that’s accurate to each string, making intelligent sensing a reality.

Huawei Digital Power drives the integration of power electronics technologies with IoT, Big Data, and Artificial Intelligence, breaking limits in green technology and minimizing power generation costs. This enables each kWh of electricity to support more bits of data traffic on communications networks, and delivers stronger computing power for data centers, further expanding the reach of humanity's green efforts.

As of June 30, 2022, Huawei Digital Power products and solutions has helped customers generate 588.5 billion kWh of electricity, save 17.0 billion kWh of electricity, and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 290 million tonnes, equivalent to planting 390 million trees. Huawei's smart PV solutions have been widely adopted in more than 70 countries and regions. In Ningxia and Shandong, China, the world's largest single-site smart PV plants for agriculture and fishery have made great contributions to local environmental protection. On Sept 30, 2020, and with Huawei's support, the world's largest single-site 2.2 GW PV plant was connected to the grid.

We are also involved in the world's first 100% new energy-powered GWh-scale micro-grid project, the local grid is fully supported by solar, wind energy, and an energy storage system which utilises a total capacity of 1300MWh of our Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) solution.

Our Fusion Module Data Center has also been able to achieve PUE below 1.2 while also being a part of green data centers projects as a result of our advance low PUE capability and coupled with our FusionSolar Smart PV solutions.

We have also been able to reduce the dependency on fossil fuel for telecommunication towers in Malaysia through the solarization of these towers thus increasing the contribution towards carbon reduction while providing a more robust and less complicated O&M solution.

We also achieved success in a range of use cases, including zero-carbon power generation (smart PV power storage turns PV from a backup power source into a main power source, introducing green power to numerous industries), zero-carbon homes (enabling a zero-carbon lifestyle and creating a zero-carbon living environment), zero-carbon travel (delivering better user experience and accelerating the electrification of the automotive industry), zero-carbon sites (smart power target networks enabling telecom networks to conserve energy and reduce emissions), zero-carbon data centers (facilitating the sustainable development of a digital world that is green, secure, and smart), zero-carbon campuses (advancing zero-carbon smart campus innovation from green power generation to efficient power consumption).

4. In the next 20 years, the world will witness two great transformations – the greater use of AI, Cloud and Big Data, and secondly energy transition including decarbonisation of power generation and the big use of electricity for the use of energy. How does this affect us? And Malaysians?

These transformations simply shout the need for power digitalisation, in the aspects of providing information and more efficiently managing and monitoring assets. That way, by utilising the strength of Cloud and Big Data, we need not adhere to traditional O&M methodology which is highly inefficient and time consuming. Also, with the increased demand for electricity, we need to ensure equipment used cause minimal losses, thus leading to the same desired performance, but with lower electricity consumption.

How this affects us? For the individual, you are able to do your part in reducing your carbon footprint by installing a solar PV system at your home while businesses are able to install at offices, commercial and industrial properties and industry players are able to invest in green technology and to be a power producer via large-scale solar power plants. In short, we as Malaysians will be able to contribute towards a greener, safer and cleaner country for our future generations to come.

5. What does this summit mean to ordinary Malaysians?

As the world strives towards carbon neutrality and to reverse the adverse degradation of the environment, this Summit hopes to create greater awareness here in Malaysia in hopes that our target of reaching carbon neutrality by 2050 does not remain as mere lip service but becomes a reality, with every Malaysian playing a part in contributing towards it, starting from the home to businesses and to large power plants.

It is our desire to add value from our experiences globally to provide the latest in technological advancements as we transition from carbonized energy production to green and renewable energy. This means that we have to consider all aspects from technological challenges to innovation to ensure that our quest toward carbon neutrality is achieved in a holistic manner. Energy security, grid stability and safety are among the key considerations in which FusionSolar Smart PV solutions aim to address on this road to carbon neutrality.

6. Malaysia is an exporter of fossil fuel, so how should it increase its focus on renewable energy (RE) sources such as wind, electricity, and solar to improve its competitiveness in the global market?

Undeniably, the global paradigm shift of electrification will soon dilute the need for fossil fuel in Malaysia, and Malaysia, being one of the largest exporters of fossil fuel globally, needs to divert its attention into research and development of producing more finished goods by using fossil fuel as the core material. That way, we could balance on developing RE while not neglecting the country’s geographical advantage of rich natural resources.

Balancing the transition from fossil fuel to green energy in the domain of power production also involves advocating and promoting friendlier investment policies in the area of taxation, financing, and green energy-related material sourcing.

7. What are the roles played by Huawei Digital Power International and Malaysia?

Huawei Digital Power is a leading global provider of digital power products and solutions that is committed to integrating digital and power electronics technologies, developing clean power and enabling energy digitalization to drive the energy revolution for a better, greener future.

Huawei Malaysia is actively involved in the process of achieving carbon neutrality. Through technological innovation, Huawei will help industries reduce energy consumption and help accelerate energy structure transformation. Our goal is to enable all industries to use stable, clean, safe, and cost-efficient energy.

Achieving carbon neutrality will require the collective efforts of all industry players and stakeholders. Huawei Malaysia will remain open to collaborations and working with partners across the industry value chain, industry organisations, and standards organisations to achieve these goals.

We must also not forget that our talent development has to be honed and with our partnership with development and training centres such as the Centre for Technology Excellence Sarawak (CENTEXS) and the Selangor Human Resource Development Centre (SHRDC), we hope to contribute in a significant way towards ensuring that our young and matured talents are kept abreast on the latest technological advancements in green technology and to keep our workforce relevant and globally competitive.

8. Huawei is very much regarded as a mobile phone manufacturer by ordinary Malaysians. That is what comes to our mind. It is a very strong brand but what other products does Huawei Malaysia offer as a provider of digital power products?

We offer Fusion Solar Smart PV solutions for green power generation, Data Centre Facilities, and FusionCharge for green mobility.

9. Can you share with us the updates on Huawei’s first pure electric vehicle – the Wenjie M5 EV – and the sports utility vehicle (SUV Aito M5) and how it will be distributed?

As Huawei emphasizes a strong partner ecosystem, the partnership with AITO as the EV manufacturer together with the Huawei-Inside DriveONE e-Powertrain mechanism, a true benchmark for the industry has been set which has definitely been proven by the sales track record in China.

As Malaysia adheres to different sets of standards as compared to China such as having a right-hand drive vehicle while China has a left-hand drive; as well as Malaysia adhering to IEC or CE while China adheres to GB in-vehicle charging, we may have to be patient a little longer for the birth of this vehicle here in Malaysia. However, seeing how the global market has spiked significantly and how this vehicle has been widely accepted by the public, I am confident that the necessary conversions will be done to cater for the global mass market.

10. Finally, a personal question. You have been the CEO of Huawei Malaysia for four years. How much of a Malaysian have you become and what do you like most about Malaysia?

I love Malaysia and there are many things about this country that I love but if you ask me what I love most, I would say, it's the people. I have been made welcome here and treated as one of their own from the very beginning.

In terms of how much of a Malaysian I have become, I use the “lah” with a flair now and love the variety and flavours of Malaysian cuisine. From nasi kandar, nasi lemak, roti canai, satay and the Chinese food in this country, it is very hard to choose my absolute favourite.

On the work front, it has been an honour to head Huawei Malaysia and I am grateful for the trust and confidence placed in my leadership. I hope that my stewardship leaves an indelible mark of improvement for the Malaysian people in terms of better connectivity that generates better employment, incomes and lifestyle upgrades for society.

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