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100% Electrified buildings and Communities: Powering Commercial Developments for a Brighter Future

Updated: Nov 24, 2023

On the 11th of October 2023, Climate Governance Malaysia convened the second session of its webinar series titled "100% Electrified Buildings and Communities." This event commenced with an introduction by Datuk Ahmad Johan Raslan, a council member of CGM and the Director of Sime Darby Properties, shedding light on CGM's mission to guide companies in an effective climate transition strategy.

Sean Armstrong, Managing Principal of Redwood Energy, presented insights into prevailing practices in beer breweries and the risks associated with the use of natural gas in these processes. He emphasized the shift observed in European breweries toward adopting solar energy and heat energy recycling. Sean also discussed the current practice of methane gas combustion in milk processing and explored innovative applications of solar energy for milk product pasteurization. Furthermore, he touched upon the electrification of sizable swimming pool complexes.

The adoption of electricity in industrial kitchens, as a safer and more energy-efficient alternative for workers, was also highlighted. Electrification of mining equipment and industrial transportation was cited as a noteworthy trend, even within Malaysia.

Norway emerged as a trailblazer in electrifying construction sites, with Oslo's notable effort to establish a zero-carbon emission urban construction site. The advantages encompass reduced noise and air pollution, with potential implications for landscaping crews.

The subsequent panel discussion, expertly moderated by Gandhi Suppiah, Regional Director of TSA Advisory, commenced with an introduction and the floor being ceded to Ar. Zulkifli Zahari, President of the Malaysian Association of Energy Service Companies (MAESCO).

Ar. Zulkifli elaborated on the significance of energy efficiency in tandem with reducing greenhouse gas emissions, lauding the Malaysian government's recently launched National Energy Transition Roadmap, which emphasizes the importance of energy efficiency. In response to a query posed by Gandhi, Sean offered insights into enhancing the efficiency of solar energy, particularly with an emphasis on energy security. He suggested augmenting household battery capacities to facilitate nighttime electricity discharge and recommended bidirectional charging for electric vehicles to contribute power to the grid.

Ar. Zulkifli introduced the concept of energy service companies (ESCOs) and their role in providing services to curtail energy wastage and operational costs for businesses. He underscored the financial benefits for companies in engaging ESCOs through Energy Performance Contracting (EPC) agreements.

Gandhi directed the first audience question to Sean, inquiring about the transition from diesel-based construction equipment to electric alternatives and the challenges facing the industry. Sean elucidated that a significant portion of the world's construction equipment is rented, drawing parallels to the car rental business and emphasizing the financial incentives for transitioning to electric equipment. He suggested that the Malaysian government could introduce incentives to expedite this transition in the construction sector.

Ar. Zulkifli emphasized the critical role of battery technology in facilitating this transition and serving as a safety net in case of grid failures. Sean underscored the need for stronger policies regarding the carbon credit system to prevent its abuse, while also recommending that Malaysia establish deadlines for companies to adopt green practices, akin to regulations in California.

Before concluding the session, Ar. Zulkifli also stressed the importance of achieving a balance between punitive measures and incentives and the necessity for comprehensive stakeholder involvement in discussions surrounding grid electrification.

Click here for the recordings and slides


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