Brunei Bids to Boost Solar Energy Use

418893_274903879244639_222237863_nClean, renewable energy is an important component to the fight against global climate change. Read below on how Brunei aims to add more solar energy to its portfolio.

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN: In the forefront of the country’s renewable energy drive, the Energy Department at the Prime Minister’s Office (EDPMO) is looking at various technologies such as smart grid and feed-in tariff to boost the use of solar energy, Borneo Bulletin reported.

In the feed-in tariff, consumers who invest in rooftop solar panels can channel any surplus power to the national electricity grid. The feed-in energy will then be compensated by the government as explained by Pehin Datu Singamanteri Colonel (Rtd) Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Awg Hj Mohd Yasmin bin Hj Umar, Minister of Energy at the Prime Minister’s Office during an interview at the first meeting of the US-Asia Pacific Partnership for a Sustainable Energy Future yesterday at The Empire Hotel & Country Club.

He explained that the proposal was to encourage people to participate in renewable energy. “It is a wise investment that will provide returns. Although this will take time (to make a profit), it will provide reasonable returns in the end.

“Solar panels may have a 20-25-year lifecycle hence the invested capital may return to the investor within 10 years,” he explained.

Meanwhile, he highlighted that 2012 has been an encouraging year in the energy sector. The outlook in 2013 is to surpass the initial target of 1,600 local job creation.

Pehin Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Haji Mohammad Yasmin believed around 2,000 local employment can be created this year in the energy sector and revealed that EDPMO is at the final stage of launching the Energy White Paper. The country is also in the final stage of launching its Energy Industry Competency Framework. The minister also emphasised the importance of building the local business scene in the energy sector for the Sultanate.

“We are looking forward for good local companies to venture outside Brunei,” he said. Last week, he met with officials from a company conducting maintenance and overhaul of valves in the sector.

The company has since been appointed a hub or the main servicing maintenance facility for this region. Pehin Dato (Dr) Hj Mohammad Yasmin said such an accomplishment is definitely good news for EDPMO and the country.

Meanwhile, the ‘Ali Baba’ issue in the energy sector is still a big concern but since the EDPMO has monitored the situation, there has been reasonable progress in tackling the issue.

Prior to concluding the interview, the minister revealed that the Renewable Energy Conference will be held in the country this year.

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