On electricity generation and global warmingPosted: June 29, 2009
It has been a long time since I’ve last followed the Parliament sessions live online. So this morning, I decided to have a look at what they have planned for the Parliament session today. In actual fact, I was looking to see if they would be debating on the review of the ISA. I did not find that listed for today’s schedule, but I did find the following, which is targeted at the Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water:
“Bahawa Dewan ini mengambil maklum bahawa pemanasan dunia kini berada dalam keadaan yang kritikal dan salah satu daripada penyumbang kepada keadaan ini adalah penjanaan tenaga elektrik. Dan mengambil maklum bahawa bekalan bahan bakar bagi penjanaan kuasa elektrik juga semakin berkurangan”
THAT this House takes into account that global warming is now at a critical stage and that one of the contributors to this situation is the generation of electric energy. And takes into account that fuel supply for the generation of electric energy is also diminishing.
I had found this statement very encouraging, because I was starting to feel like Malaysia is not taking the issue of sustainability and energy efficiency seriously enough. But I was to be deeply disappointed immediately after, because the paragraph that follows is:
Dan mengambil maklum bahawa keperluan bekalan elektrik di negara ini juga kian meningkat dan peningkatan ini sebahagian besar disebabkan oleh pembaziran tenaga elektrik, di mana lampu, kipas dan pendingin udara dipasang walaupun tidak diperlukan. Dan mengambil maklum bahawa isu ini dalah isu global tetapi dapat diselesaikan secara lokal di mana setiap orang mempunyai peranan untuk mengurangkan pembaziran tenaga elektrik dan sekali gus mengurangkan punca pencemaran dan pemanasan dunia. Maka dengan ini dewan hendaklah mengambil ketetapan untuk meminta Kerajaan menggubal satu dasar atau pun undang-undang bagi mendakwa dan menghukum mereka yang sengaja membazirkan tenaga elektrik. Ketetapan juga haruslah diambil untuk memastikan semua ketua Jabatan Kerajaan, Agensi Kerajaan dan syarikat berkaitan kerajaan bertanggungjawab untuk mengurangkan pembaziran tenaga elektrik ini dan dimuatkan sebagai salah satu daripada kriteria indeks petunjuk prestasi mereka.
And takes into account that the need for electricity supply in this country is increasing and this increase is caused in most part by the wasting of electric energy, where lights, fans and air-conditioners are turned on even when not needed. And takes into account that this issue is a global issue but can be solved locally where every one has a role to reduce waste of electric energy and hence reducing the source of pollution and global warming. Therefore this House takes this step to ask that the Government enact an act or a law to sue/bring to court and punish those who waste electric energy on purpose. Steps also have to be taken to ensure that all heads of Government bodies, Government agencies and Government-related companies take responsibility to reduce waste of electric energy and is made one of the criteria of their performance index.
I don’t know if there are actually people who would ‘waste electricity on purpose’, because it’s not like electricity is free. So for whatever that they are wasting, they have to pay extra.
Granted, there are people who are less conscious, or conscientious, about these things, because electricity comes ‘relatively cheap’.
But is enacting a law that allows these people to be brought to court and punished the way to go about global warming? Is reducing waste of electricity through turning on less fans, lights and air-conditioners going to reduce the amount of pollution and global warming?
I don’t think so.
With the parliamentarian bringing up this issue of energy being wasted, perhaps it is also a good idea to look at it at a bigger scale. Let’s not talk about fans and lights and air-cons. Of course, these little things are important. All of us have a role to play.
But in the larger scale of things, shouldn’t we also be looking at the technology that is available to us today, and see if they are energy efficient? Are they using whatever energy that is provided to them to the best of their capacity?
And then of course, there are the electricity generators. Are they generating the maximum amount of energy? What ratio is energy produced to energy wasted at any one particular electricity generation plant?
What about the machines that we use on a daily basis? How efficient are our refrigerators, or our air-conditioners? How much energy do they use up, compared to the amount of energy they produce? And are there any benefits being introduced to the manufacturing companies to invest into R&D so that they can come up with more and more efficient machines?
And then there is green technology. It’s even part of the Ministry’s name. But what are we as a nation doing in terms of introducing Green Technology? Do we have any team of people researching in ways to expand the use of solar technology, which we get plenty of every day of the year? Are we investing in producing clean energy, rather than burning fossil fuels to produce electricity?
Do we actually have green technology in Malaysia?
These are probably the questions that I would ask if given the chance.
That there is actually a suggestion to enact a law as that mentioned above is rather beyond me. There are so many other issues concerning energy efficiency and tackling global warming, I would have thought that a law like that would be last on their minds.