WITH just seven years remaining to fulfil the goals of the Paris Agreement 2015, many participating countries are racing to reduce carbon emissions by at least 50%.
And as 2030 looms ever nearer, these countries are required to update their nationally determined contributions to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change every five years.
These contributions, although non-binding, focus on the participating country’s climate change mitigation plans and its targets for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
Malaysia, being one of the signatories, has recently taken a more serious stance and has proposed several initiatives and even a roadmap – the National Energy Transition Roadmap – which was launched on July 27.
As a main provider of energy in the country, Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) is a crucial player in spearheading the newer and cleaner ways of powering the grid.
It is due to the gravity of its role as one of the country’s power suppliers that TNB has organised The Energy Transition Conference, to be held on Aug 28 and 29, at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre.
It is a platform for potential collaborations among industries to support Malaysia’s goal of achieving a low-carbon nation status by 2050 and will feature the energy transition (ET) across the future of energy, green mobility, sustainable cities and digitalisation.
Under the theme Accelerating a Responsible Energy Transition, the conference will attract experts and top government officials under one roof to present and discuss ET-related topics.
Local and international thought leaders, experts, industry players, policymakers, and communities from across the value chain will come together to formulate solutions and strategies, and stimulate meaningful changes towards accelerating a responsible energy transition.
These discussions will birth strategies that will eventually transform policies, regulations, and financial incentives to drive the ET agenda.
To further advocate this agenda, The Energy Transition Conference 2023 makes history as the first conference in Malaysia to be wholly powered by green energy through the Renewable Energy Certification (REC).
It advocates sustainable choices, including the Green Electricity Tariff (GET) programme. Learn more at www.tnb.com.my/get.
The conference will also host Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, as well as a panel of renowned speakers.
These include the Institute of Energy Economics Japan chief economic officer and senior managing director Dr Ken Koyama, Energy Commission chairman Tuan Mohammed Rashdan Mohd Yusof, Octopus Energy Group founder and chief executive officer Greg Jackson, International Renewable Energy Agency director-general Francesco La Camera, Sunway Group founder and chairman Tan Sri Dr Jeffrey Cheah AO, Asian Development Bank vice-president Ashok Lavasa, TNB chief new energy officer Zarihi Hashim, Maybank chief sustainability officer Shahril Azuar Jimin and many more.
Among the topics are:
> The Price of Going Green
> Forward-Thinking Policies and Regulations that Shape the Energy Transition
> Closing the Renewable Energy Loop: Bridging the Net Zero Transition through Circular Economy Strategies.The conference is also to increase the community’s awareness and understanding towards ET benefits to empower individuals to discover their role towards this collective aim.
Those attending the conference will be at the forefront of the global sustainability movement as it involves a cross-sector collaboration, with discussions that include energy, transportation, industry and agriculture, to foster integrated and holistic approaches to sustainable practices.
The discussions aim to find solutions that contribute towards more sustainable practices and to provide a platform for entrepreneurs, researchers, and technology developers to present cutting-edge technologies, products and services.
The conference also allows policymakers to discuss and debate policy options, regulatory frameworks, and incentive mechanisms.
By engaging stakeholders, the conference aims to facilitate knowledge exchange and foster dialogue, collaboration, and partnerships necessary for driving a responsible energy transition.
“There are three main elements a country must face when empowering energy transition – that it requires significant investment, that it is a trilemma that also involves the need to provide sustainable energy, and getting various parties to collaborate and commit towards the transition,” says TNB president and chief executive officer Datuk Baharin Din.
“Together with the Ministry and its partners, TNB continues its unwavering dedication to assisting the Government in harmonising these three essential components, fostering the advancement of energy transition.”
TNB’s resolute commitment lies in ensuring a steadfast and dependable energy supply for our valued customers, a pivotal contribution to sustain our nation’s ongoing progress and development.
“We have chosen four areas to discuss that are very close to the changes in human life today that lead to sustainability.”
He explains that as the country moves towards using future energy sources – that is to transition from traditional energy sources to cleaner alternatives – a similar shift must be made to increase the grid infrastructure to be flexible and resilient.
A responsible transition also means prioritising energy efficiency, reducing energy waste and promoting a culture of conservation and sustainability.
As cities are major settlements, they collectively have a significant impact on the environment.
“All development, economic activities including industry, transport and more, are concentrated in cities,” says Baharin.
“It is predicted that when we reach net zero carbon emissions in 2050, seven out of every 10 people in the world will reside in urban areas. This means 70% of people live in cities.
“Already, the World Bank’s development indicators indicate that more than 75% of Malaysia’s population is concentrated within urban areas, such as the metropolis, a city or small town.”
He points out that sustainable cities are important as urban society must embrace technology to realise sustainability.
By using energy and resources wisely and efficiently, quality of life can be improved, while the effects of pollution, traffic congestion and daily stress are reduced.
Economic opportunities can be found through creating greener jobs and sustainable industrial development.
The community would benefit by generating wealth in a green economy that will satisfy the financial, human, social, physical and natural needs.
Those with green jobs would lead quality, enriching lives, while those from different industries can enjoy environmental benefits from the creation of these jobs, such as cleaner air and easier access to clean water.
“ET in cities presents a critical step towards a more sustainable and resilient future. It requires the cooperation and commitment of all stakeholders – government, enterprises, and citizens,” Baharin says.
Green mobility, which refers to the transport industry, is at the centre of many economic and social development agendas, as it links people to many important aspects of living and yet remains the source of GHG emissions.
However, there is increased availability and affordability of alternative fuels coupled with greener combustion engine technology, batteries, and hydrogen as fuel, as well as the promotion of sustainable mobility options.
The fourth area is digitalisation, which refers to the technology that is essential to achieve net zero emissions, hence driving the ET agenda further.
The future of energy revolves around decarbonisation, decentralisation and digitalisation, of which the latter enables efficient data processing, identification of issues and testing of virtual solutions leading to decarbonisation.
The industry can improve efficiency with digital technologies such as cloud computing, artificial intelligence, machine learning, the Internet of Things sensors and blockchain.
Facilitating digital technologies, energy-efficient practices and climate-friendly production processes across the value chain is essential in reducing carbon emissions.