The Asean Post, April 17, 2018
The harnessing of renewable energy is seen as an integral component within the development plans of countries across the globe. Increasing carbon footprints, agricultural pollution, deforestation, as well as the release of excessive chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) into the atmosphere are among the issues that have necessitated a collective effort to protect the environment from further degradation and destruction. Such an initiative is the International Sustainable Energy Summit (ISES) 2018. In its 4th edition, the recently concluded summit was held in Kuching, Sarawak from 10 to 11 April, with the theme, Sustainable Energy: The Future is Here.
A biennial event, ISES was first inaugurated on the 7 to 8 November, 2012 as a platform for the sharing of knowledge besides being an opportunity for networking in fulfilment of the Strategic Thrust 5 of the National Renewable Action Plan. ISES is jointly organised by the Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water (KeTTHA) and the Sustainable Energy Development Authority (SEDA), Malaysia. ISES is also endorsed by the ASEAN Centre for Energy (ACE) and the International Energy Agency (IEA) which is based in Paris, France.
The event played host to many distinguished figures, including Y.A.B. Datuk Patinggi (Dr) Abang Haji Abdul Rahman Zohari bin Tun Datuk Abang Haji Openg, Chief Minister of Sarawak, Her Excellency Maria Castillo Fernandez, Ambassador and Head Delegation of the European Union to Malaysia, and Her Excellency Karin Mössenlechner, Ambassador of the Netherlands to Malamong others.
There were 3 plenary sessions at this year’s summit:
Plenary Session 1: Envisioning the Future of Electricity Market: Transformation Towards a Greener Electricity Sector
Plenary Session 2: Capital Planning: Reinventing the Business Model for Power Utilities in the Future Electricity Market
Plenary Session 3: National and State Electricity Market Transformation Roadmap
At the end of the first day of the summit, a business matching session for both, solar and non-solar industries took place. Entities such as the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA), Malaysian Green Technology Corporation (MGTC), Associated Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia (ACCCIM) - Sarawak, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the World Bank Group were present during this session.
Besides the plenary sessions, Deep Dive Workshops (DDW) were also conducted so as to have a more thorough understanding of specific topics including sustainable hydropower and the emergence of energy storage systems.
Key points from the conference include the possibility of achieving 100% renewables in the electricity mix through the efforts of both, the federal and state governments in Malaysia as well as corporations. Discussions about blockchain in the future of energy were carried out besides the highlighting of grid issues with high solar PV penetration. Issues related to rural electrification were also addressed by panellists and participants alike.
According to SEDA, the recent summit witnessed a new attendance record with nearly 900 attendees, 50 exhibitors and 47 sponsors. Participants were from diverse backgrounds with at least 25 countries represented. The state of Sarawak has certainly set a high standard for the summit which in turn now places higher expectations for the 5th edition of ISES which will be held in 2020.