Updated: 6 days ago
On October 4th, 2023, Climate Governance Malaysia (CGM) and the U.S. Embassy to Malaysia came together to host the inaugural session of a webinar series entitled "100% Electrified Buildings and Communities: Electrifying Your Beloved Homes." This collaborative effort was designed to catalyze a transformative shift in the way homes are powered throughout Malaysia. Datuk Ahmad Johan Raslan, a council member of CGM and the Director of Sime Darby Group, and Grace Choi, the Cultural Affairs Officer in the U.S. Embassy to Malaysia delivered their opening remarks and introductory statements, underscoring the commitment of CGM and the U.S. Embassy to advance the cause of achieving Net Zero in Malaysia.
Sean Armstrong, Co-Founder and Managing Principal of Redwood Energy, led a presentation focused on Malaysia's transition to a sustainable and electric future. He began by highlighting Hawaii's 72% electrification rate and Malaysia's 19% clean power rate. The core of Malaysia's efforts lies in its Renewable Energy Roadmap, aiming for 31% renewable energy by 2025, 40% by 2035, and an ambitious 70% by 2050. This aligns with the global trend of increasing affordability of solar panels and batteries, enhancing accessibility of renewable energy.
Furthermore, Sean stressed the environmental necessity of electrifying homes and communities due to methane leaks contributing to 40% of future climate change. He also highlighted the benefits of rooftop solar adoption, especially through programs like Net Energy Metering (NEM), which allows residents to generate excess energy, obtain credits, and reduce utility bills. The high demand for NEM, with 75% of the quota filled by September 2023, showcases the growing interest in solar energy in Malaysia.
The presentation also discussed the transition from gas to electric cooking, emphasizing safety, efficiency, and environmental benefits. It touched on the rising popularity of electric motorcycles, highlighting the unique incentive of exempting road tax for electric motorcycles in Malaysia until 2025. Additionally, the presentation explored the dynamics of the electric vehicle (EV) market, with a focus on the benefits of reduced operational and maintenance costs. It also highlighted the growing popularity of EVs, with Mercedes aiming for exclusive EV marketing in Malaysia by 2030. This comprehensive approach underscores Malaysia's unwavering dedication to clean energy and sustainability.
Subsequently, Chandra Farley, the Chief Sustainability Officer of Atlanta City, shared valuable insights into Atlanta's comprehensive efforts to decarbonize its grid through policy initiatives and concerted action, supported by well-defined roadmaps. She underscored the significance of public-private partnerships as a linchpin for their accomplishments. Of particular note was the proactive inclusion of marginalized communities in Atlanta's decarbonization strategies, recognizing that they often exhibit more resistance to change.
Following their presentations, Sean Armstrong and Chandra Farley joined forces with IR CK Tang, Director of Green Pages, to form a panel. This dynamic panel discussion was skillfully moderated by Mitch Gelber, CEO of the Malaysia Green Building Council.
The panel delved into various crucial aspects, commencing with an exploration of the challenges associated with the removal of natural gas from the grid. Differences in natural gas transportation and household heating requirements between Malaysia and the United States were thoughtfully examined. Chandra Farley offered invaluable insights into her experiences with electrification efforts within Atlanta's transportation systems. Additionally, the panel briefly touched upon the electrification of culinary practices in Malaysia and the potential cultural challenges that might arise in the process.
Ultimately, the discussion emphasized the indispensable role of local authorities and municipalities in ensuring the success of electrification initiatives. Engaging in meaningful dialogues and collaborations among these stakeholders was recognized as pivotal to fostering innovation and driving progress towards an electrified grid.