Tags Posts tagged with "energy"


A huge explosion has hit a nuclear power plant in Japan after yesterday’s massive quake sparking fears of a meltdown. Now, do we really want to opt for nuclear energy in Malaysia?

The plant lies in Fukishima, only 250km northeast of Tokyo. Japanese officials fear a meltdown at one of the plant’s reactors after radioactive material was detected outside it, reports the BBC. The evacuation zone has now been extended from 12km to 20km.

Okay, you tell me what the local petrol price should be now, bearing in mind that they have removed subsidies completely now.

Of course, we also need to factor in the need to conserve scarce fossil fuels.

I think RM1.80 without any subsidy would be a more acceptable price now, taking into account the need to bring down food prices and stimulate the local economy while trying to encourage fossil fuel oil conservation and prevent wastage at the same time.

Thanks to Ong Eu Soon for compiling this chart:

Petrol price Global crude

RM/litre US$/barrel
01/10/00 1.20 35
20/10/01 1.30 20
01/05/02 1.32 26
31/10/02 1.33 28
01/03/03 1.35 31
01/05/04 1.37 38
01/10/04 1.42 47
05/05/05 1.52 48
30/07/05 1.62 57
26/02/06 1.92 63
05/06/08 2.70 120
17/11/08 2.00 55

Solar energy is not only green and safe, there’s going to be a huge demand for it. So Penang and the rest of Malaysia should get their act together and take a closer look at it. Already, Selangor Mentri Besar Khalid Ibrahim was reported in theSun yesterday as saying that they were looking at developing new technology such as solar power. Well, what about Penang? (There is already an MNC, First Solar, which produce solar modules and has operations in Kulim, Kedah, points out blog reader Kulo.)

Instead of going down the nuclear energy path, we should be checking out the solar energy sector, which is booming. Over in the United States, the Daily Journal of Commerce in Portland, Oregon reports:

In 2007, the solar industry nationally marked its best year ever, raking in $20 billion. But those close to the industry say the best is yet to come: In 10 years, the industry’s revenues are expected to triple.

Much of this growth is dependent on how the industry is incentivized, lawmakers said.

The hope is to create better incentives for individual solar use on what’s known as “the front and back end.” This would make it easier for individuals with solar panels to essentially resell excess energy back to the grid.

Currently, solar advocates argue, the federal government doesn’t prioritize private solar energy storage.

Blog reader George forwarded this report from the Washington Post, highlighting how Germany is phasing out nuclear power plants in favour of renewable energy (although recently there has been a revival of the debate as nuclear power advocates in the current administration try to block that phase-out):

…a law adopted in 2000. It requires the country’s huge old-line utility companies to subsidize the solar upstarts by buying their electricity at marked-up rates that make it easy for the newcomers to turn a profit. Their cleanly created power enters the utilities’ grids for sale to consumers.

Solar energy is not just a dream; it is already creating “green collar” jobs – lots of them:

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.