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NEWS UPDATES 15 June 2010

Brunei may export alternative energy

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Solar energy, osmotic energy and geothermal energy "may have potential for viable development and use in Burnei" and eventually even make the Sultanate a "leading exporter" of alternative energy, the Minister of Energy told the Brunei Times.

During a conference on alternative energy and energy efficiency solutions for Brunei, Pehin Datu Singamanteri Colonel (Rtd) Dato Seri Paduka Hj Mohammad Yasmin Hj Umar, who was the guest of honor at the event, said, "I am confident, that, with good energy policy and planning, we can be a leader in the production, export and even research and development of at least one of the alternative energy options and its technologies."

Asked if Brunei could eventually become a "go-to" country on alternative energy solutions for the region, Pehin Yasmin said it was "definitely possible" and he hoped to see this goal realised within the next year or two.

Pehin Yasmin also shared success stories of the commercial viability of alternative energy around the world, citing Brazil and China as having significant local market shares in the alternative energy sector.

He said Brunei was not only looking to a sustainable energy supply but one that could be "a source of profitability and growth" for national welfare and economy.

The necessity to turn to alternative energy was also a result of needing to build up strong energy surpluses that could support major economic growth, he said, noting that there was also a "need to intensify the implementation of energy efficiency and conservation measures so that (Brunei) could make better use of our existing energy resources".

He said "the development of fuel cell motors powered by hydrogen may have long-term potential for the transportation sector."

In an exclusive interview with The Brunei Times, Pehin Yasmin said that changes on energy policies would come in time, noting that the Brunei Economic Development Board (BEDB) was already making a start on this with its feasibility study, funded by the Spanish government, on turning waste into energy through incineration.

"If everything goes well, this is what we want," he added. "You can just imagine the impact of Brunei ... especially in this region, just imagine the benefit that Brunei will (get) from all this."

He added that with the two studies on energy efficiency and alternative energy potentials, commissioned under the Centre for Strategic and Policy Studies, Brunei could expect to see an increase in the awareness of energy savings and efficiency.


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