Malaysia Targets a Green Technology Hub via Various Approach

 

WALK into the GreenTech Malaysia building in Bandar Baru Bangi, Selangor, and one immediately notices the different ambience. The main hall, offices, meeting rooms, library are lighted using natural reflective light from the sun, while the temperature is not hot despite the lack of air-conditioning. What it uses instead is green technology called slab cooling where the floor is cooled with chilled water.

Since it was built in 2006, the building has consumed very little fossil fuel with an energy index of 30 kilowatt hours per square metre (kWh/m2) per year compared to a typical conventional office building of 250 to 300 kWh/m2 per year. That’s about 90 per cent saving.

GreenTech Malaysia is currently one of the most energy-efficient buildings in the region and sets an example of how green buildings should look and feel like.

HARNESSING SUN POWER

With all year round sunlight, Malaysia is well positioned to harness solar power for renewable energy, particularly in view of depleting fossil fuel and rising energy prices. Today, much has been done to ensure that the people, industry and environment can benefit from green technology.

Formed to catalyse and drive the nation’s green agenda, GreenTech Malaysia has started to initiate plans to transform and position the country as a hub for green technology.

You may not know it but we are the second largest country in the world for solar products with direct foreign investments worth more than RM12 billion, creating 10,000 jobs. This is just one part of the green agenda and there are many aspects that will make the country a green hub.

The man with the experience and who can explain all aspects of renewable energy, from research, development and policy to industry and industry development, is GreenTech Malaysia CEO Ahmad Hadri Haris.

Involved in green initiatives since 1997, Ahmad Hadri says that for Malaysia to become a green technology hub, we need to focus on five inter-related areas — awareness, capacity development, market development, industry development, and policy and finance.

FOCUS AREAS

Initiatives like green technology adoption should start with a good awareness programme, and GreenTech is doing this via various approach like public engagements, events and exhibitions like IGEM (International Greentech & Eco Products Exhibition & Conference Malaysia), schools and universities, carnivals and building the GreenTech portal and database.

Awareness is just one part. Ahmad Hadri says skilled workers and professionals are needed to push the industry.

“We conduct training for skilled workers and professionals such as degree holders. We also conduct programmes in training schools and universities. This year we’re appointed by Human Resource Ministry to develop Noss (National Occupational Skill Standard) on green technology,” he says.

Then comes market development where green townships and low-carbon cities are established such as the on-going pilot project in Malacca (Hang Tuah Jaya) and Miri.

“Green tech needs a market for the products. We create green township, green procurement, green label, certification — in this context we coordinate market development for green products with entities like Sirim and the Energy Commission,” he says.

The MyHijau Directory (www.greendirectory.my) will help promote and encourage green products and green procurement in the market.

Industry development is another key aspect that has been pursued, says Ahmad Hadri, and over RM12 billion FDI has been achieved with foreign solar companies like First Solar, AUO Sun Power, Hanwa Q-Cells, Panasonic and more bringing in 10,000 jobs.

To top up all these, a good policy and finance scheme will further prosper the industry. Currently, 111 green-related projects with secured financing of RM1.5 billion, have been approved by 22 banks. Ahmad Hadri says Malaysia is the only country with a dedicated Ministry for green technology.

Although awareness and commitment is still a challenge, he believes that the green path is bright.

“Together with agencies like Seda (Sustainable Energy Development Authority), we will make it easy for the people and industry to adopt green technology,” he says.

Source: New Straits Times 

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