Malaysia is a country located in Southeast Asia and shares land borders with Brunei, Thailand, and Indonesia, as well as maritime borders with the Philippines, Vietnam, and Singapore. It is located in the tropics region and is considered a “megadiverse country” because of the large number of endemic fauna and flora. Because of its heavy biodiversity along with a variety of other environmental and economic factors, the Malaysian government is currently looking to intensify their efforts in the development of renewable energy, especially biomass. As such, the country now has a number of clean technology projects going on around the country in order to decrease reliance on fossil fuels which will protect the biodiversity by decreasing the overall carbon dioxide footprint, making the environment much more sustainable in the battle against climate change. Here are just ten highlights of what Malaysia is doing when it comes to clean technology.
1 ) Flextronics Builds Cleantech Supersite at a Malaysian Facility. In March of 2010, Flextronics dedicated one-million square feet to the creation of a “Clean Tech Super Site,” which would be its established facility in Malaysia at the Port of Tanjung Pelepas. Flextronics, an electronics manufacturing company currently has a variety of solar photovoltaics module production capabilities that are operational at this location with plans to increase the total site capacity to support one gigawatt of module production. According to E.C. Sykes, the president of Flextronics International, “Malaysia is the ideal location for our Clean Tech Super Site because of customer proximity and established wafer and cell operations in the area. This is an exciting time for our organization, and we are very pleased by the progress with our clean-tech operations and are aggressively working toward its complete buildout.”
2 ) Australia Labels Malaysia as a Hotspot for Cleantech Startup Companies. According to the Australian Institute of Commercialization, there is a large opportunity for green energy startup companies from Australia currently in Malaysia because of the large palm oil industry. The Australian Institute of Commercialization stated that Malaysia produces a significant amount of waste during the extraction and processing of palm oil, which can be very harmful to the environment. Currently, there are around 400 palm oil mills throughout the country of Malaysia that have the potential to create one megawatt of renewable energy from the waste.
3 ) Malaysia Creates a System for Feed-in Tariffs. Malaysia is the latest country in a list of Asian countries that have approved a sophisticated system of new feed-in tariffs to aid in the development of sources of renewable energy. On April 5, 2011, Malaysia adopted a new system of Advanced Renewable Tariffs. This is to help Malaysia in its goal to install over three-thousand megawatts of renewable energy. The country is looking to ensure that one-third comes from solar photovoltaic sources and one third comes from biomass, two of the largest renewable energy sources in the country.
4 ) Small Renewable Energy Power Program. In 2001, the government of Malaysia announced the launch of their Small Renewable Energy Power Program. This is one of many steps the government had taken to encourage as well as intensify the use of renewable energy for power generation throughout the country. The small power generation plants that use renewable energy will be able to sell its electricity to the utility via a distribution grid system.
5 ) Arus Spektrum Sdn Bhd. Arus Spektrum Sdn Bhd is one of the largest providers of solar photovoltaic renewable energy in Malaysia. The company offers cost effective as well as top quality systems to their customers, including photovoltaic modules, solar electric power systems, building integrated photovoltaic systems, biomass energy systems, solar lighting systems, and off-grid and grid-tie inverters.
6 ) Detroit Electric Holdings Ltd. Detroit Electric Holdings Ltd is one of the premier companies increasing the electric vehicle revolution worldwide. This company manufactures environmentally friendly and efficient Pure Electric Vehicles that are long range and high performance for the international market. The products range from stylish sedans to high performance sports vehicles that can drive more than 320 kilometers in one charge. Since the establishment of the company, it has been committed to developing brand new technologies to increase the use of electric vehicles.
7 ) Malaysia Hosted the 2011 Renewable Energy World Asia Conference. The Renewable Energy World Asia Conference in 2011 was held for the first time in Malaysia. This is the premier exhibition and conference for the sustainable and renewable energy industry in the region. This was aimed to show the region’s support in Malaysia’s burgeoning renewable energy goals. Malaysia’s top industry utilities, industry trade bodies, and government energy organizations were on hand to guarantee everyone was made welcome. Paul Sweeney, the Event Director for the conference said, “Malaysia is showing exciting signs of growth and development and their challenge to meet the reduction in carbon intensity targets provides a significant challenge for the renewable energy industry. The enthusiasm and support of the Malaysian industry and authorities will ensure the success of the event.”
8 ) Malaysia Green Building Confederation. The Malaysia Green Building Confederation was established in 2007 when a group of representatives from the building industry, academics, and consultants got together to create a nonprofit organization that would aid in the promotion of sustainable buildings throughout the country of Malaysia. The goal of the confederation is to have Malaysia become a leader in green buildings throughout the southeastern region of Asia and continue to promote green practices. Some of the goals include, “[Supporting] the government in developing a sustainable built environment for Malaysia [and]to promote and stimulate demand for sustainable buildings.”
9 ) GTower Hotel becomes First Green Building in Malaysia. The GTower in Malaysia has become one of the first green buildings in the country. In fact, the tower, in 2010, received the Green Mark Gold Award, which was given by the Building and Construction Authority of Singapore. All the latest green technologies are built into the building, including items to ensure it uses 25 percent less energy when compared to buildings of similar size in the area. The building also utilized double glazed glass panels to decrease heat transmission.
10 ) Business Council for Sustainability and Responsibility Malaysia. The Business Council for Sustainability and Responsibility Malaysia was established in 2011 is a national organization that is made up of numerous business leaders from a variety of industry sectors with one main goal – to create responsible and sustainable practices in Malaysia that are in line with the international sustainability agenda.
Article by Shawn Lesser, Co-founder & Managing Partner of Atlanta-based Watershed Capital Group – an investment bank assisting sustainable fund and companies raise capital, perform acquisitions, and in other strategic financial decisions. He is also a Co-founder of the GCCA Global Cleantech Cluster Association ”The Global Voice of Cleantech”. He writes for various cleantech publications and is known as the David Letterman of Cleantech for his “Top 10″ series. He is also author of The 2012 Cleantech Directory. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.