Malaysia is accelerating efforts on modernizing to a smart grid and investing in renewable energy businesses as key ways to move up the ranks to a developed economy.
On this front, Malaysia announced the launch of a $100 million investment fund to support renewable energy business development in Southeast Asia. Through a partnership with Japan-based Asian Energy Investments, the fund will seed promising small to mid-size green technologies and businesses.
Malaysia’s goal is to cut carbon emissions 40% by 2020 (from 2005 levels) and increase renewable energy capacity to 4 gigawatts by 2030.
"Investing in green energy is the #1 priority for countries looking to move up the world’s financial ranks," advise from leading development experts on Malaysia’s Global Science and Innovation Advisory Council.
"It’s of foremost importance to emerging economy countries because it simultaneously promotes environmental interests, energy security, entrepreneurship, human capital and prosperity, says advisor Jerry Hultin, Senior Presidential Fellow of New York University and President Emeritus of NYU’s Polytechnic Institute. He participates in Malaysia’s advisory council.
Putra Eco Ventures Inc. – a new Malaysia-based fund management company – will both channel the investments and provide business consultancy services to green companies.
"This new green energy venture capital fund is a wise investment in developing a family of new technologies able to draw and store energy from renewable, inexhaustible sources such as the sun, wind or tides. Demand for these products and businesses will be again driven by consumer convenience, cost advantage and environmental necessity, and logic dictates that they will eventually trump non-renewable fossil fuels in global markets short years or decades from now," says Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Razak in announcing the fund.
Malaysia has a renewable energy feed-in law, which is expected to result in 3 GW of renewables by 2020, evenly divided between solar, wind and biomass. It sets specific targets for each technology to avoid EU-style bubbles and gives bonus payments for locally manufactured products.
Almost the entire solar allocation through 2014 was applied for within the first 24 hours! The program is paid for by a 1% levy on utility bills. Thailand, Taiwan, the Philippines and Uganda have similar policies.
Smart Grid Too
Malaysia also announced it will accelerate modernization of its grid to a Smart Grid in partnership with General Electric, Green Tech and Tenaga Nasional Berhad, the country’s biggest utility.
The partnership will support development of a national policy for Malaysia’s smart grid and explore establishing a Center of Excellence to position Malaysia as regional leader in innovative, sustainable, and public-private partnership-driven smart grid initiatives.
‘Smart electricity initiatives are essential to cities of the future, developing and demonstrating energy-saving technologies for creating smart cars, smart buildings and microgrids, which together will offer the highest returns on green energy investments, says Jerry Hultin.