UPDATE: The Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water has been given approval by the Economic Council to look into identifying suitable sites for a nuclear power plant. If we proceed, it will take another 12 to 15 years before viable energy is produced.
I frequently emphasize the importance of conserving and managing our natural resources. Our non-renewable natural resources are finite. Eventually, the supply will end. In this regard, our current fuel mix for power generation in Malaysia is skewed too much in favour of natural gas and coal – fuels that account for a majority of our electricity generation.
Such imbalance needs correcting as we aim to become a low carbon economy. Environmental considerations aside, it will simply be too costly to continue using coal and gas past 2020. This suggests a need over the medium to long term to use fossil fuels prudently, and migrate to alternative sources of energy that are cleaner and more efficient. This is why innovation is absolutely critical so that we find new ways to become more efficient as we strive to become a developed nation. While we should tap the abundance of sunlight in our country, let us also not forget opportunities that may arise from biomass.
As we consider all sources of energy, there has also been some attention given to nuclear energy. Nuclear is arguably efficient and cost effective. The question is this: is it the right one? Before embarking on such an important decision we must conduct a comprehensive study on it. As such the Government is undertaking feasibility studies on nuclear energy use for electricity generation. I am eager to understand better and to know the findings. If we press ahead with nuclear, 12 to 15 years could elapse before energy is produced using small reactors.
Of course, if we do go down the nuclear energy route, we would not be alone. And this is why we are looking around globally to learn from other countries and take note of the advancement in technology of this industry/sector. All this said, I would like to obtain your thoughts on our future electricity generation in Malaysia, especially any views regarding nuclear. Are there alternatives not yet considered, that could firmly establish Malaysia as a global green revolution leader?