Awer calls for a comprehensive national energy policy as part of the 2023 budget

KUALA LUMPUR (September 18): A comprehensive national energy policy aimed at ensuring that social, economic and environmental parameters are well balanced is needed, the Malaysian Water and Energy Research Association (Awer) has said.

Awer Chairman S Piarapakaran has urged the government to put this in place.

As a major energy mix and energy transition will take place in the next three decades, it is important for the government to take stock of past failures that have unjustly imposed higher costs on Malaysians and its economic sectors.

“The government must consider implementing energy efficiency on a large scale. It is essential to ensure that energy consumption patterns evolve towards more efficient solutions through behavioral changes, technological overhaul and modernization. .

“Efficiency is the major parameter to keep the energy demand curve flatter. In addition, the technological solutions chosen must be made after appropriate life cycle analysis studies to ensure that we do not not end up with new environmental problems,” he said. Bernamaoutlining the association’s wish list for the October 7 2023 budget presentation.

Minister to the Prime Minister (Economy) Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed had previously reiterated the country’s commitment to a low-carbon energy transition. The National Energy Policy 2021-2040 is expected to be launched later this year.

Piarapakaran said the government also needs to “select and match” energy resources carefully to ensure the private and public sectors don’t invest too much in infrastructure.

“By using the ‘select and match’ approach, targeted and efficient infrastructure developments can be achieved more quickly,” he said, adding that a mistake in national energy policy would cause irreversible damage to economy and a devastating outcome by 2050.

Awer also proposes that the government develop regulations on energy efficiency in buildings applicable to new buildings and the retrofitting of existing buildings.

Piarapakaran said the regulations are to improve heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, building materials and designs, insulation materials and other emerging applications.

“With these, all buildings can be designed to be energy efficient at the construction stage and can help reduce peak load,” he said.

He said that the inclusion of building efficiency, thermal efficiency and energy consumption in the transport sector in demand management is important for a comprehensive management of energy consumption.

“Optimizing consumption by increasing efficiency will reduce energy demand. This will save billions of ringgits,” he said.

The association is also urging the government to introduce energy efficient vehicles accompanied by mandatory energy efficiency labeling and a minimum energy performance standard.

“Improving public transport takes time. It is important that vehicle fuel efficiency is implemented to ensure that only fuel-efficient vehicles are sold in Malaysia.

“This will directly reduce fuel expenditure, energy demand and emissions in the transportation sector,” Piarapakaran said.

He said Awer had successfully introduced a minimum energy performance standard and mandatory energy efficiency labeling for electrical products. Perhaps a similar mechanism can be put in place for vehicles.

Additionally, Piarapakaran said that for energy-efficient vehicles, a mechanism must properly measure the total environmental impact of vehicle types.

“When Life Cycle Assessment is used to assess electric vehicles, their environmental performance does not yield encouraging results compared to energy efficient vehicles using internal combustion engines.

“Be careful when choosing mechanisms to improve national environmental performance,” he said.