Malaysia’s green economy faces bright future

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s green economy faces a bright future with the various opportunities it offers and moreso in 2013 despite the gloomy global economic outlook.

This year saw Malaysia on the road towards embracing green technology as a way of life and a catalyst for new economic growth with government support.

The Chief Operating Officer of the US Green Building Council and President of the Green Building Certification Institute Mahesh Ramanujam said, green technology is an economic driver for jobs and local development, a problem-solver for environmental issues and often has benefits that impact human health and comfort.

“Malaysia is uniquely poised right now for major growth in green technology as the world wakes up to it and embraces the use of green products,” he told Bernama in an interview.

He said in this regard, Malaysia is rapidly growing technology, and has become a supply chain hub for green technology.

“The right players are in Malaysia and it’s just a matter of fueling growth and bringing start-up and emerging technologies to the table,” he added.

The government foresees green technology as playing a major role in ensuring Malaysia remains competitive in the international market as global demand for sustainable products increases.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has announced that renewable energy is expected to create RM70 billion economic activity by 2020, support 50,000 jobs and reduce carbon emission by around 40 per cent.

He also said that Malaysia’s green industries are already valued at RM67 billion and grew by six per cent between 2010 to 2011, adding, green projects under the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) are expected to create RM53 billion in Gross National Income (GNI) by 2020.

Green Age Solar Technology Sdn Bhd General Manager, Andy Ang said the awareness of green technology in Malaysia is indeed encouraging, with the country having latched on to it way back in 1997.

“I hope to see a wider clean technology implementation from both the government and private sectors.

“The high cost of production for green tech products is one of the negative factors for companies in Malaysia trying to produce it.

“I also hope to see more government agencies increase their awareness and use of green tech products,” he added.

He also lauded the government’s decision to change and use the light-emitting diode (LED) to replace old bulb types, especially for streetlights.

In the Budget 2013, the Green Technology Financing Scheme fund was increased by RM2 billion to RM3 billion and the application period extended for another three years until Dec 31, 2015.

This is set to benefit more green technology users and producers.

Malaysia’s vision in promoting a green economy also saw the launch of the MyHijau Label, a certification for green products, by the Energy, Green Technology and Water Ministry.

Its Minister, Datuk Seri Peter Chin Fah Kui, has expressed the wish to see between three to five per cent green technology-compliance for newly developed buildings by 2030 under the Low Carbon Cities Framework.

The implementation of the Sustainability Achieved via Energy Efficiency (SAVE) Programme has increased the market share of five-star energy-efficient products such as refrigerators and air-conditioners to 40 per cent.

The SAVE programme, launched in 2011 includes rebates of RM200 on the purchase of refrigerator units, RM100 on air-con and RM200 per tonne of chiller for commercial use.

The rebates are the first of many initiatives to increase public awareness on efficient energy use.

Meanwhile, Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Seri Chor Chee Heung also announced that three incinerators with green technology and an environmental friendly concept, would be built in the country in 2013.

The tender for the project – it is also open to international companies – is expected to be called in March 2013.

The incinerators are to be built at Taman Beringin in Kuala Lumpur and Bukit Payung in Johor, and the third, in either Selangor or Melaka, would help resolve problems related to solid waste management. — Bernama

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