From Consumption to Compassion: A Reflective Moment on Energy

Let’s dive into the history of energy from prehistory to industrial revolution and the modern world.

“Since the Industrial Revolution, humans have released over 1.5 trillion tonnes of carbon dioxide or CO2 into the earth's atmosphere… And emissions keep rising—but they need to get down to 0. That’s 50% more than the year 2000 and almost three times as much as 50 years ago.”

Our history has seen leaps in resource and energy utilisation, from domesticated animals to windmills. The transition to massive energy use marked the Industrial Era, a stepping stone to the technological age. Over time, human civilisations grew exponentially, but at what cost?

Before we get into this, let’s take a look at how far humanity has come by looking at the days before fossil fuels.

Days Before Fossil Fuel

Before the Industrial Revolution, humanity relied on natural resources like the sun, water, wind, and biogas for energy:

These ancient natural resources are now called Renewable Energy, sustainable and environmentally-friendly resources that would not deplete over time.

The Age of Fossil Fuels – Industrial Revolution

Our energy consumption completely changed during the Industrial Revolution, which began around 1750, fossil fuels (coal, petroleum, natural gas) emerged as convenient energy sources.

In 1776, James Watt improved coal's efficiency with his steam engine, making it a big deal for electricity by the 1880s. This led to a lot of people using coal to make electricity by the 1880s. Then, in the mid-20th century, petroleum became more popular because of cars. Hence, people phase out from coal, and petroleum became the go-to energy source.

Fast forward to 2019, Malaysia was powered mostly by petroleum (37%), followed by natural gas (36%) and coal (21%), while renewable energy accounted for just 6% of total consumption.

The Truth Awakening

Heavy reliance on fossil fuels had unintended consequences, including environmental degradation, air and water pollution, and heatwaves, which results in climate change. These consequences serve as a wake up call for humanity, underscoring the urgent need for us to transition to cleaner energy sources.

Scientists are sounding the alarm: We need to take big steps in the next decade to limit global warming to just 1.5°C. To do this, nations across the globe must work together to cut greenhouse gas emissions “by about 45% from 2010 to levels by 2030 and reaching net zero around 2050”.

If we do not make a change today: Each additional ton of greenhouse gas emissions brings us closer to the depletion of our "carbon budget", reaching the 1.5°C temperature limit. This path leads to scorching heatwaves, severe droughts, and powerful storms. But if we can stop even a tiny bit of warming, it can make a big difference in preventing a lot of damage down the road. At the present emission rates, we are on track to deplete this budget in 12-15 years.

A sign of shifting perspective across the globe: Environmental movements, advocacy groups, government policies, and international agreements are increasingly focused on addressing climate change and promoting sustainable energy solutions. Key international laws, like the Paris Agreement, Kyoto Protocol, and UNFCCC, all share the common goal of combating climate change and promoting sustainability.

Malaysia's Government Climate Change Mitigation Policies

Malaysia is not exempted from this shift towards cleaner renewable energy. Thanks to these policies, the nation is on course to reach its 31% Renewable Energy target by 2025 and 40% by 2035, according to Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change Minister Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad.

Let's take a look at the evolution of government policies and the impressive growth of renewable energy capacity over the years:

Source: Bernama MREM, MyRER, Baker McKenzie, Malaysian Reserve, Bernama & MIDA

This led to government intensifying its efforts to promote solar energy adoption by introducing new policies, with the aim of reaching a 70% capacity mix target by 2050.

Malaysia's Progressive Leap: Forging the Future with New Policies

Phase 1 of the NETR, which was announced on July 27, saw 10 flagship “catalyst projects and initiatives” introduced which, according to Economy Minister Mohd Rafizi Ramli, could open up energy transition investment opportunities of RM435 billion to RM1.85 trillion by 2050.

Lift of RE export ban: The removal of the export ban is poised to open new doors for cross-border renewable energy trade, giving local companies valuable opportunities to expand to the international energy market.

Phase 2 of the NETR: On August 29, 2023, Malaysia's Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, unveiled Phase Two of NETR, outlining key initiatives which include the establishment of a RM2 billion seed fund for the National Energy Transition Facility, designed to facilitate blended finance for energy transition projects with lower-than-market returns.

Sunview Illuminating Malaysia's Green Energy Revolution

Sunview is at the forefront of Malaysia's drive towards a sustainable future. Aligned with the National Energy Transition Roadmap (NETR), we're poised to contribute significantly to Malaysia's renewable energy goals.

Our goal is to build a sustainable ecosystem. Not only for our clients, but as a philosophy that governs the way we do business.

To this end, Sunview is actively partnering with industry leaders. Our partnership with a Chinese technology company, for example, aims to harness the potential of IoT systems, particularly in Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS). We have undertaken a trial run project using proof of concept on BESS to optimise energy usage, reduce peak demand, and enhance overall efficiency.

We are also committed to creating a sustainable supply chain, spanning downstream, midstream, and upstream operations. This involves expanding our RE assets (downstream), installing diversified RE systems (midstream), and broadening our material supply capabilities (upstream).

What’s Next with Sunview

Our strategic vision encompasses a comprehensive 360-degree range of sustainable solutions, with a primary focus on renewable energy and enhanced energy efficiency. Our offerings span from ESG consultancy to cutting-edge RE hardware and software services, enriched by value-added options like Operations & Maintenance.

Embracing the future, we're advancing into the realm of machine learning and artificial intelligence. This empowers us to gain deeper insights into customer behaviours and needs, ensuring we stay at the forefront of innovation.

Our overarching aim is to simplify the path towards sustainability for our clients, all in pursuit of our primary objective: achieving Malaysia’s goal of reaching 70% of RE mix capacity by 2050.

Return to Renewable Energy

As global awareness of clean energy's significance surges, technological advancements within the industry are progressing at an unprecedented pace. The cost-effectiveness of adopting solar power, for instance, is increasing, making it more accessible to all.

Our solar solutions can connect your business with sustainability, aligning it with green initiatives and enhancing its reputation.

Lastly, renewable energy promises a future characterised by reduced carbon emissions, enhanced air quality, and sustainable green living. Sunview is leading Malaysia's shift towards sustainable energy, with a vision that embraces a sustainable supply chain and production processes, aiming for a cleaner, greener, and brighter tomorrow.

Join us in our commitment to creating a brighter, sustainable world for future generations.

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