Malaysia energy transition lagging behind its peers, says HSBC


MALAYSIA’S energy transition into a net zero-emissions economy is lagging behind its peers, according to HSBC Asean Chief Economist Joseph Incalcaterra.

Political instability and dependence on natural gas have slowed the process of transitioning to a cleaner energy mix, as there is little incentive to invest in new energy sources, he said in a virtual press conference on COP26 and Asia’s energy transition with HSBC’s economists.

“Unlike the Philippines, which has little to no natural energy resources and has the incentives to develop and push harder on alternative energy, Malaysia, as an energy exporter, is much more cautious about investing in new energy,” he said.

Joseph said gas-fuelled electricity generation will remain high in such countries while demand is rising significantly.

The International Energy Agency estimates that natural gas demand is unlikely to peak in the Asia-Pacific region until 2035.

Joseph cites the political instability in the past two years, which has seen the government change twice, as another major factor slowing the pace of the energy transition in Malaysia.

He said energy transition is a key part of the global effort to tackle climate change. Joseph noted that the surge in renewable energy investments over the last few years in places like China and India is set to continue.

He is hopeful that by 2030, the world will be on a net zero-emissions trajectory and the COP26 outcome will set a strong foundation for the future.