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July 10, 2008

Malaysia eyes nuclear energy use by 2020
Malaysia is prepared to develop renewable energy, including from nuclear source, via a new and comprehensive National Energy Policy.

Energy, Water and Communications Deputy Minister Joseph Salang Gandum said the country had to find cheaper energy sources compared to oil and natural gas which were experiencing surging prices.

"Future energy sources for this country are being studied and the possibility of using nuclear energy after 2020 should not be dismissed as it is now regarded as 'clean energy'," he said when winding up the adjournment speech in the Lower House of Parliament Wednesday.

Salang said in line with the commitment to sustainable development of energy, the government decided to gradually reduce dependence on existing fuel as energy sources.

"Dependence on gas is expected to be reduced to 55.9 per cent in 2010 from 70.2 percent in 2005, while the contribution from renewable energy, including hydro, is expected to increase to 7.4 percent by 2010."

He said the government planned to harness electricity from hydro source, especially from Sarawak, with a capacity of 5,000mw by 2020.

Earlier, Khairy Jamaluddin, a MP, said the government needed to draw up a new National Energy Policy to give focus to the development and usage of renewable energy.

He said following the spiralling price of oil and natural gas which were major sources of energy in the country, various programmes were drawn up to develop renewable energy.

"Besides saving on energy, we should undertake efforts to develop renewable energy from various sources like biomass, biogas, sunlight, wind, hydro and oxygen from seawater," he said in his adjournment speech.

Khairy said proactive measures should begin now to overcome obstables to renewable energy usage and to address issues relating to costs in changing to renewable energy usage, the impact on national policies, consumer education and public acceptance of renewable energy usage.

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