Malaysia can be major energy storage supplier

There are discussions of storing energy using hydrogen, especially with the opportunity available in East Malaysia

by SHAZNI ONG / pic by BERNAMA

MALAYSIA can become a clean energy leader in the region due to the country’s geographical landscape and the advancement of new energy storage technologies.

Singapore-based Electrify Pte Ltd CEO Martin Lim said there are discussions of storing energy using hydrogen or known as hydrogen energy storage, especially with the opportunity available in East Malaysia.

He said there are already people who are looking at hydrogen projects in Sabah.

“Sabah has an untapped potential still on hydroelectric power. Could we do something over there to capitalise on it?” he told The Malaysian Reserve recently.

Lim said the advancement in energy storage would allow power to be exported to countries like Japan where there is a huge market for it.

According to the Hydrogen Council, the international hydrogen market is estimated to be worth up to US$2.5 trillion (RM10 trillion) by 2050, meeting 18% of global energy demand, providing 30 million jobs and reducing carbon dioxide emissions by six gigatonnes per year.

There is also the “hydrogen economy” which refers to the vision of using hydrogen as a low-carbon, clean energy resource in order to meet the global energy needs.

The intention is to replace traditional fossil fuels which are less environmentally friendly.

A recent Borneo Post news report said Sarawak Energy Bhd (SEB) has been in talks with Japan to chart collaboration on hydrogen energy, which is deemed to be the future of green and renewable energy (RE).

Investment in new RE is on track to reach a total of US$2.6 trillion from 2010 through the end of 2019, according to a study by Bloomberg New Energy Finance for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Frankfurt School’s UNEP Centre in September this year.

According to SEB strategy and corporate development executive VP Ting Ching Zung, citing the report, Japan is presently importing hydrogen from Brunei and Australia.

He added that the initiative on research and development (R&D) on hydrogen technology could be further explored for the state to emerge as a hydrogen provider in the region.

Electrify is currently exploring opportunities to collaborate with other established energy players and regional utility companies in Malaysia, Thailand and Australia.

Lim said Electrify has had talks with Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) to adopt the Synergy platform for Malaysia’s peer-to-peer (P2P) programme. Electrify’s collaboration will allow consumers who own solar panels to sell their energy surplus to other consumers across the city, facilitated by Electrify’s P2P energy trading platform, Synergy.

“Synergy also works in tandem with Electrify’s price comparison tool to offer more options for customers, such as RE plans.

“The ecosystem is built upon a data platform that collects and analyses information on how energy is produced and consumed in real time,” he said.

Lim said energy data can provide a clear and granular view of how electricity is being consumed, allowing energy companies and their customers to understand energy usage better.

“Data-driven insights can also power the delivery of intelligent energy services, such as real-time monitoring or access control,” he said.

Lim added that Malaysia’s participation in a liberalised energy market would increase innovative products and services, and elevate awareness around energy plans and options.

He complimented the Malaysian authorities who are taking steps towards liberalising the energy market with a sustained government-led push in the form of the Malaysia Energy Supply Industry initiative.

“Clear targets have also been set with the launch of the Renewable Energy Transition Roadmap, aimed at raising the share of renewables in Malaysia’s power mix to 20% by 2025.

“With forward-looking organisations such as TNB and the Sustainable Energy Development Authority of Malaysia exploring digital solutions at the forefront of this paradigm shift, we foresee a high likelihood that Malaysia’s energy industry will undergo a digital-first transformation.

“This will lay the foundation of digital services such as P2P energy trading, as well as the possibility of intelligent energy services powered by energy data,” he said.

Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Minister Yeo Bee Yin in September this year said for the country to reach 20% of renewable power mix in the next six years, it will require RM33 billion in investments.