Kuching to deploy three hydrogen fuel buses in pilot project

Sarawak CM Abang Johari (centre) and acting Minister of Energy Devamany (second right) admire hydrogen-fuel bicycles at the summit.

KUCHING: The Sarawak government hopes to roll out hydrogen fuel buses to power its public transportation initiative by year’s end.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg, however, said the Federal Government has to look into amending the Road Transport Act 1987 first to make this possible

“We would like to adopt the technology and roll out hydrogen fuel buses,” Abang Johari told a press conference after opening the 4th International Sustainable Energy Summit here yesterday.

The Chief Minister added that three hydrogen fuel buses will be introduced in the state capital for the pilot project.

Sarawak also hopes to introduce electric-powered buses soon.

The state is also looking into having the LRT system for Kuching run on hydrogen fuel.

“The future of public transport will focus on fuel cell. We have embarked on our research, collaborating with international experts.

The state is interested to contribute to global demand for clean energy, reduce carbon emission and promote green energy,” said Abang Johari.

In his keynote address, he outlined efforts undertaken to facilitate energy transition in the state, focussing on hydropower development, which currently represents 75% of the Sarawak’s generation mix.

Fossil fuel, coal and alternative renewables like solar and mini-hydro make up the other 25%.

He said hydropower has allowed the state to develop the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy and attract intensive industries and investors by offering security of supply at a globally competitive price.

This enabled Sarawak to have the lowest electricity tariffs for domestic, commercial and industrial consumers in Malaysia

Hydropower will also help the state reduce carbon emission.

The state and Sarawak Energy are also installing standalone alternative systems, utilising micro-hydro and solar technologies to light up communities in the interior areas under the Sarawak Alternative Rural Electrification Scheme.

“Alternative energy sources has played an imperative role in the state’s mission for full electrification particularly for communities in the interior that are impossible to connect to the state power grid

“This in line with our target to achieve 100% electrification by 2025,” Abang Johari said.

Sarawak Energy is conducting a feasibility study on hydrogen fuel cell application for the state, which includes the setting up of a hydrogen production plant, he added.

On the Federal Government’s energy transition efforts, acting Energy Green Technology and Water Deputy Minister Datuk Seri SK Devamany said a mandate has been given to Sustainable Energy Development Authority (SEDA) to develop a Renewable Energy Transition Roadmap 2050 towards achieving carbon neutrality.

As of January this year, SEDA has approved an estimated investment of RM11.2bil under the Feed-in Tariff (FiT) scheme, where these projects are estimated to create 27,000 jobs.

SEDA has also approved 12,190 FiT applications with total renewable energy capacity of 1,636Mw, of which 534Mw has achieved commercial operations.

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