There is no reason why Penang and Malaysia cannot become a centre for research into green energy sources, especially solar energy (Photo credit: Wikipedia.org)

I am dismayed that the Cabinet is seriously looking into nuclear energy as an alternative energy source. This excerpt from the NST:

Deputy Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Fadillah Yusof said another objective of the paper, which outlined the direction of nuclear power, was to enable further studies and plans on the initiative to be carried out by his ministry and the Energy, Water and Communications Ministry.

Faidilah said while nuclear power would only be a reality after 2020, the foundation of the plan and efforts to create awareness of nuclear power needed to start now.

He said it was important for the public to know that nuclear power was safe, environmentally friendly and more affordable in the long run.

Would you want to live near a nuclear power plant?

Why aren’t they seriously considering solar energy research – starting from now?

It’s not as if the situation is critical and we need more power fast. Last I read, our reserve margin for electricity has crept up from 41 per cent to 47 per cent. And a global recession is looming. Meanwhile, TNB has to bear a heavy burden in making capacity payments to the IPPs for electricity it doesn’t need. These are excerpts from The Star:

KUALA LUMPUR: Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) has posted its first quarterly net loss in four years as its earnings were eroded by higher coal prices, independent power producers’ (IPPs) cost and a weaker ringgit.

It posted a net loss of RM282.9mil in the fourth quarter ended Aug 31 compared with a net profit of RM168.4mil in the previous corresponding period.

And they are facing “challenges” with more power coming on-stream:

On the prospects for FY09, it said there were significant challenges with the commissioning of the 1,400MW Jimah power plant (thereby raising capacity payments and the reserve margin from the current 40.8% to 47%) and rising average coal prices.

So we have a 47 per cent reserve margin and huge capacity payments to the IPPs – and that is before we take into consideration those expensive plans to transmit electricity from Sarawak to the peninsula via RM15 billion undersea cables.

And now they want to build nuclear plants, which would cost more than RM6 billion each.

Why not use all this money and carry out research into cleaner energy sources especially solar energy? It would be a lot safer for all. If the Pakatan were to take over, what would their national energy policy be like?

No matter who’s in power, we need a national energy policy that is clean, green, safe and sustainable – and one which encourages conservation of non-renewable resources.

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