KUCHING: Sarawak wants to venture into the hydrogen economy in its commitment towards the environment, says Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.
He said the state was now embarking on a pilot project to produce hydrogen as a form of renewable energy, which would help in efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
“Although there are some people who say it is too early for us to adopt it, I believe Sarawakians have the expertise to venture into this new technology for renewable energy.
“We already have renewable energy in hydroelectricity and we now want to venture into hydrogen as another form of renewable energy to drive our economy, ” he said when launching the state-level Environment Day at the state Legislative Assembly here yesterday.
Citing other countries as examples, Abang Johari said three cities in South Korea would be hydrogen-powered by 2022 while Japan was also going towards hydrogen.
“So this is nothing new.
Everybody is going towards that and therefore Sarawak, having an abundance of water, will have to go towards that, ” he said.
“The state government is committed to managing the environment in a holistic manner and we will use the latest technology in our efforts.”
Meanwhile, state Transport Minister Datuk Lee Kim Shin said the development of a hydrogen production plant and refuelling station and the acquisition of three hydrogen fuel-cell buses were pilot projects under the state’s applied research and development of hydrogen gas.
Addressing concerns raised by assemblymen on the feasibility of hydrogen, he said countries such as China, Japan, South Korea, Germany and Norway were incorporating hydrogen into their clean energy solutions.
“The hydrogen economy is what many countries worldwide are now aggressively pursuing due to its potential to drive economic growth. “Hydrogen fuel-cell buses are just one of the many initiatives in the hydrogen economy, ” Lee said when winding up matters related to his ministry.
He also added that the state was also considering other factors besides cost in venturing into hydrogen, including the need to provide an eco-friendly public transport system and to take advantage of the state’s abundant water resources.