Academic journal article Global Business and Management Research: An International Journal

Potential of Renewable Energy Technologies and Its Implications for the Management of Low Carbon Lifestyles in Rural Malaysia

Academic journal article Global Business and Management Research: An International Journal

Potential of Renewable Energy Technologies and Its Implications for the Management of Low Carbon Lifestyles in Rural Malaysia

Article excerpt

Introduction

In the years that have passed, Malaysia has experienced rapid growth in terms of urbanization. Olatunji et al (2014) note that carbon emissions in Malaysia grew from 14601.99 (kt) in 1970 to 198348.03 (kt) in 2009. Subsequently, in a statistical report by the Earth Policy Institute, Malaysia was ranked the 27th most polluted country in the world, following a carbon emission of 54 million tons in 2012. The report also showed that there was an average emission growth rate of 13% in five years (Olatunji et al, 2014). What is more alarming is that projections by the Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water indicate that universal principal energy consumption is projected to increase by 45% in total, in the next 21 years (Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water, 2011). Electricity demand is predicted to range 18,947 megawatts in 2020 and 23,092 megawatts in 2030 (Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water, 2011). These projections indicate that there will be huge proportions of carbon emission by 2030 which will heavily pollute the air and cause health issues as well as contribute significantly to global warming.

Wary of the enormity of the problem, the Malaysian Government has implemented projects and programs to contain and reduce the emission of GHG in the country. Significant policies that have been implemented to this end are the National Green Technology Policy and the National Policy on Climate Change developed on the 24th of July 2009 (Sivapalan, 2016, p.266). These policies are in response to the Prime Minister's pledge of reducing the nation's emission intensity by up to 40% by the year 2020 at the 2009 Copenhagen 15th United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP15) meet (Sivapalan, 2016, p.266, Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water, 2011). Developed in line with the National Green Technology Policy, Malaysia's Low Carbon Cities Framework and Assessment system (LCCF) has been cited as one of the first framework and assessment systems developed in the region to address reduction of emission, note KeTTHA (Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water, 2011). It addresses the Prime Minister's COP 15 promise, and focuses on the government's vision of seeing Putrajaya and Cyberjaya become pioneering green townships in Malaysia (Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water, 2011). This framework and assessment system, which is targeted towards urban cities, townships and neighbourhoods, given that cities have been deemed to be more active emitters, also focuses upon four elements (Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water, 2011). These are urban environment, urban transport, urban infrastructure and buildings (Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water, 2011). Target users of the framework include local authorities, planners and developers, state KeTTHA further (Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water, 2011). Figure 1 shows the LCCF in Relation to National Policies and Rating Tools.

While the framework mentions the need for local authorities, planners and developers to include the local community in emission reduction policy and strategy development, it does not clearly outline the criteria, guidelines and measures on how the local community i.e. the end users (civil society), should be engaged and identified for the successful implementation of these policies and strategies. This indicates the depth of interventions to be conducted in terms of the engagement of local communities in the implementation of low carbon initiatives, specifically within communities in rural contexts. This is the limitation this study aims to address.

Renewables for Rural Malaysia: A review

Malaysia, at the Copenhagen 15th United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP15) meet, pledged to reduce the nation's emission intensity by up to 40% by the year 2020 (Sivapalan, 2016, p.266). In July 2009, the National Green Technology Policy National Policy on Climate Change was developed in response to this pledge (Sivapalan, 2016, p. …

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