KUCHING: Sarawak is poised to be the main producer of power in South-East Asia with multiple sources of renewable energy, says Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.
The Sarawak Premier said the state would continue to focus on hydropower, with a new dam proposed for development in Lawas.
"We still have potential in hydro development. I've requested Sarawak Energy Bhd (SEB) to explore the development of the Trusan hydroelectric dam in Lawas," he said at the SEB vendor awards ceremony at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching on Tuesday (May 30) night.
Abang Johari said PETRONAS was interested to take up equity in the Trusan dam, while negotiations were going on with a third party to also acquire equity in the dam.
"I understand that it will not affect the local population as there are no settlements at the project site," he said.
Abang Johari added that he had requested SEB to look into cascading dams as a new approach which would provide energy with less impact on the environment.
On this, he said Sarawak could learn from Austria, which had developed cascading dams on the Danube River.
In addition, Abang Johari said SEB was looking into commissioning gas turbines as well as exploring the potential of solar power.
"We can accelerate the use of gas turbines as an alternative to provide energy.
"I also believe solar power will be cheaper in the next 10 years as the technology improves," he said.
He also said research was being undertaken to improve hybrid solar and wind systems.
"This means Sarawak will have four sources of energy, so I'm very confident that SEB will be the main player when it comes to generating power in this region.
"This is because we have the resources and technology to produce power," he said.