What on earth are our energy planners thinking of?
First of all, we have 40 per cent reserve capacity in the peninsula. TNB is now paying capacity charges for electricity it buys from the independent power producers which it doesn’t need.
Then, there is the plan to transmit a huge chunk of the electricity from the Bakun Dam from Sarawak over to the peninsula via undersea cables. But hold on, the submarine cables, which would be the world’s longest, would now cost RM15 billion. Alamak! So how? Sime Darby has already pulled out from the project.
Now the peninsula has all this reserve electricity and Sarawak too has more than enough electricity, with the Bakun Dam in progress…
So what do they dream of next?
For the peninsula, the government has asked Tenaga to look at nuclear power. They are thinking of splurging RM10 billion for a 1,000MW nuclear facility. God help us.
And for Sarawak, in addition to the 2,400MW Bakun Dam, they want to add 12 more dams to “push the total generating capacity in the state to 7,000MW by 2020, an increase of more than 600% from the current capacity.” Gulp! How much will this madness cost? These guys have either gone cuckoo – or they have been blinded by $$$$$$. It’s a dam-building frenzy all right. How nice for CMS.
It’s big bucks for the boys in the construction of all these facilities.
But with the kind of lackadaisical maintenance culture that we have, I dread to think what could happen with a nuclear power plant or 12 more dams.
“A lot has to be done to change the public mindset when it comes to nuclear,” said Mohamad Zam Zam Jaafar, head of Tenaga’s nuclear energy taskforce.
And think of the destruction of the rainforests (what’s left of it).
As a country endowed with abundant sunlight, if we really want to look at renewable energy, shouldn’t we be conducting more research into solar energy? Penang should take the lead and position itself as a leading centre for solar energy research.