After a hiatus of two years, Sarawak will be hosting the 5th International Energy Week (IEW), spearheaded by the Ministry of Energy and Environmental Sustainability (MEESty)
BY DANIAL FAUZI
When it first manifested itself in the early part of the year 2020, the Covid-19 epidemic caused widespread panic across the globe.
Many companies and organisations were compelled to shut their doors, while others resorted to extreme means to survive.
Due to the epidemic, several organisations could not participate in the last International Energy Week (IEW). Sarawak’s Ministry of Energy and Environmental Sustainability (MEESty) had not existed yet in 2020. It was only established in 2022, and operational in 2023.
During this time, the 5th edition that was planned was put on hold until 2023.But the Deputy Minister of MEESty, Dr Hazland Abang Hipni, remarked that this lull in activity was a blessing in disguise.
“The five-year gap between the 4th and 5th edition of the IEW allowed us to do a soft reboot and introduce the theme ‘Transitioning Towards a Net Zero Carbon Future’,” he said.
“This theme supports MEESty and creates discussion around energy transition, build awareness and share the new business opportunities in the energy transition and the ambition for a net zero carbon future.”
Hazland further mentioned that the fifth instalment of IEW would offer possibilities for small and medium-sized businesses to investigate innovative technologies that can boost sales and income while also contributing to the preservation of the environment.
The transition towards a future with net zero carbon emissions is a concept many of the industry players and exhibitors for IEW are already a part of and have previously experienced. It is especially true for the former.
“We aim to create awareness and acceptance of the energy transition as it is part and parcel of climate change.
“We hope that there will be an increase in public awareness concerning the importance of renewable energy and energy efficiency in our daily lives as well as benefits that can be shared and enjoyed together towards a developed Sarawak,” added Hazland.
Hazland also has high hopes that the government’s goals of reaching net zero emissions by the year 2050 will be helped along by the people’s growing knowledge.
Expos and summits will be held as part of the IEW’s efforts to help raise awareness among the public. This summit is a gathering of top industry experts, senior government officials, and representatives from the corporate sector.
The IEW 2023 will also feature an international lineup of speakers from South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Indonesia, Abu Dhabi, and Malaysia. These speakers, from all walks of life across the globe, would provide a diverse and global perspective.
It will serve as an essential platform for participants to share their experiences and investigate opportunities for business and investment in Borneo, particularly concerning the construction of the new capital city of Nusantara in Kalimantan.
“Visitors, especially those from the Sarawak region, should take this opportunity to learn about the energy transition, talk to the exhibitors on the solutions available now and soon,” Hazland said.
THE NET ZERO CARBON THEME
As more and more people worldwide become aware of the effects of climate change, transitioning the energy system to one that is more sustainable becomes increasingly urgent.
On the other hand, energy has been the driving force behind human civilisation’s cultural progress and economic development for over a millennium, and it seems it is not stopping anytime soon.
Nations with access to an abundance of energy will undoubtedly be considered wealthy and powerful by others. However, this does not mean that harnessing energy would come at a palpable cost to the planet. Therefore, clean and renewable energy is the latest series in this transition.
Hazland stated that the group shifted from one state to another during this transition. To transition to a future with net zero carbon emissions, Sarawak would investigate and implement new sustainable forms of energy.
MEESty’s technique of transitioning towards sustainable sources and the ways employed by traditional energy corporations to reform themselves for a more sustainable future will be presented at the expo and summit. It will demonstrate MEESty’s approach to transitioning towards sustainable sources.
“It is my sincere hope that all visitors and delegates are inspired to take action and be part of the energy transition to take advantage of all the opportunities presented by this journey,” Hazland added.
In addition, the expo and summit would provide opportunities for attendees, industry participants, and even exhibitors to engage with one another from different parts of the world and discuss ideas, thereby developing relationships across the government, industry, and academic sectors.
IEW 2023 also incorporates three roundtable sessions focusing on the theme and the challenges and opportunities for MEESty. The roundtable sessions would provide ample opportunities for interaction among speakers, delegates, and exhibitors.
LIGHTING THE PATH FORWARD
One of the most critical events for MEESty in terms of the communication and dissemination of knowledge around energy transition is the IEW. It is to encourage everyone to participate in the adventure together.
“This year, there are special addresses by prominent international leaders sharing on sustainable development, a leadership roundtable talking about challenges and opportunities, a session on investment opportunities in the Green Economy and the exciting development in Kalimantan, especially the establishment of the new Indonesian capital at Nusantara,” said Hazland.
Hazland stated that they could comprehend what they could do to be a part of the energy transition journey towards net zero carbon emissions because they learn from their collective experiences and obstacles.
“When we work together and learn from each other, we can ensure that whatever decisions and choices we make are made with the best information that we have available currently.
“In this volatile and uncertain world, sharing knowledge and experience is how we can accelerate and navigate the energy transition,” Hazland explained.
In addition, MEESty is in the process of establishing Sarawak’s Energy Transition Policy (ETP). If everything goes according to plan, the ETP will be ready for rollout by the end of this year and implemented next year.
MEESty is also spearheading its strategies in harnessing their renewable energy sources to attract high impact industries and make Sarawak a central clean energy hub for the region. One of MEESty’s critical long-term goals is to reach net zero carbon emissions for Sarawak by 2050.
MEESty is also setting up its social media account, including its webpage and Facebook page. Their Instagram account is already running, and they encourage like-minded individuals to follow their latest news at meesty.swk. – @Green
New energy for new generations
Clean energy is paramount to the future economic growth and development of any country, especially those with access to abundant clean energy.
Deputy Minister of Sarawak’s Ministry of Energy and Environmental Sustainability (MEESty), Dr Hazland Abang Hipni, said Sarawak had long been recognised for its bountiful natural resources, vibrant culture and warm hospitality.
However, IEW had presented a crux for MEESty: the responsibility to the planet and the well-being of future generations.
“Sarawak had undergone a notable shift towards decarbonisation that resulted in a 72 per cent reduction in grid emission intensity between 2010 and 2020,” said Hazland.
“This massive boon was achievable through their commitment to renewable energy sources.
“It’s because Sarawak has abundant lakes and rivers and enjoys the sunshine throughout the year. These factors contribute to generating renewable energy sources such as hydropower and solar power.”
In addition, Sarawak also looked into the potential aspects of the cultivation of biomaterial that can also be utilised to generate electricity, heat, biofuels, biogas and bio-hydrogen.
Hazland added that renewable energy sources and the transition to clean energy were vital in reducing Sarawak’s carbon footprint. Therefore, the Sarawak government is laying down the foundation for a successful energy transition to meet their carbon reducing targets by 2030 through promoting a low-carbon economy.
“This game-changing initiative is poised to revolutionise the regional upstream oil and gas industry, driving innovation and marking a substantial step towards sustainable energy production that benefits the industry and the environment,” Hazland pointed out.
MEESty is also committed to collaborating with its international partners. Sarawak actively welcomes other nations to collaborate and develop new projects in partnership as the Sarawak government and MEESty continue to strive to reverse the effects of climate change and forge a sustainable future.
The transition to clean energy would no doubt slowly heal the planet, reversing the effects of climate change and restoring the planet’s equilibrium and preserving the natural flora and fauna in Sarawak and across the world so that future generations can cherish them.