BANGI: The government will launch a framework on environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards by year-end to help companies transition to renewable energy (RE), says International Trade and Industry Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz.
Tengku Zafrul said while the framework will encompass all local industries, it will be focusing more on small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in terms of funding and capacity building.
“Many of our export markets are asking exporters to be ESG-compliant. As such, we need to prepare our companies, especially SMEs, to transition to be more ESG-compliant or they might not be able to market their products overseas.
“First, there is a cost to being ESG-compliant. Secondly, capacity building and knowledge transfer is also crucial.
“The big companies have the ability to do it but this may not be the case for SMEs,” he told reporters after the launch of Malaysia’s first battery-energy storage system (BESS) for RE yesterday.
The launch showcased the fully operational one megawatt BESS prototype (MYBESS) that was developed and piloted in December 2022 and currently supports the Genetec Technology EPIC plant’s energy needs.
MYBESS is industrial-capacity ready at one megawatt per unit, while also being viable for homes, retail services such as electric-vehicle (EV) charging stations, micro industries, businesses, markets and rural electrification.
In a joint statement, the companies noted that the development of MYBESS was meant to tackle two of the biggest ecosystem challenges, which are large scale and capacity energy storage as well as portability.
Tengku Zafrul said developing homegrown intellectual property and exporting it to the world, apart from the localisation of international products, will solidify the nation’s position as a true high-tech, high-value hub to serve the future RE-powered economy.
“Today’s event stands out from the many other significant developments in Malaysia’s local RE landscape in recent months and for two main reasons.
“Firstly, it is truly a locally developed and produced solution – ‘Made in Malaysia’ by Malaysians. Secondly, the product offers a window to a larger energy ecosystem opportunity and solution to both fossil and RE.
“The launch of MYBESS will help catalyse the local RE ecosystem and the decarbonisation of the country’s economy over the mid to longer term,” he said in his opening address.
Tengku Zafrul added that one of the country’s competitive advantages lie in having RE compared with some of the neighbouring countries.
“Having RE or green energy over time is the condition that many investments have when they come into Malaysia. Local investments like MYBESS will help attract more investors to the country,” he said.
Tengku Zafrul said it is important to capitalise on first-to-market advantage to embed MYBESS in the global RE supply chain.
Moreover, MYBESS can serve as one of the main initiatives under the National Automotive Policy 2020 to support the development of the EV Interoperability Centre.
“It will further enhance the smart-grid integration between EVs and infrastructure in Malaysia.
“This development will support both upstream and downstream industries and complete the demand and supply of battery’s re-purposing, power generation and carbon reduction initiatives.
“It will also support the direction of the National Energy Policy 2022-2040; much of which hinges on the RE adoption and transitioning the country’s energy backbone away from fossil fuel reliance,” he said.