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ROAD TO RECONCILIATION
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AseanAffairs Magazine September - October 2010
CONTENT • BEYOND ASEAN 
• ASEAN BAZAAR • ASEAN TALK
ASEAN AVIATION • INSIDE OUT
• ASEAN ENERGY • OPINION
• ASEAN TRAVELLER • SAVE OUR PLANET MALYSIA

Thai Prime Minister
Abhisit Vejjajiva

Four months on in the reconciliation process Asean Affairs examines the progress and shortcomings of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva’s plan to bridge

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>>THE DEVELOPMENT OF RENEWABLE ENERGY REQUIRES STATESMEN, NOT POLITICIANS.”<<
Thomas Brandt, Head of the Environment Energy and Green Tech Committee, EU-Malaysia Chamber of Commerce & Industry, EUMCCI.

The German Experience with ALTERNATIVE ENERGY

            Among the speakers at Save Our Planet - Malaysia was Thomas Brandt, head of the Environment Energy and Green Tech Committee of the EU-Malaysia Chamber of Commerce.

During an interview following his appearance, Brandt elaborated on Germany’s experience with alternative energy and how that experience might benefit Asia. Brandt said that at the present time Germany sources 16 percent of its energy requirements from renewable sources and that in his native Schleswig Holstein that amount is 34 percent.

He noted that an effective alternative energy program requires government policy, a renewable energy act or law and public education. He also stressed that the development of renewable energy was not an altruistic enterprise but one that was based on profit and commercialization of research and technology advances.

In that context, Brandt contrasted Germany’s approach to structuring its renewable program from Spain’s experience. Germany’s financing of renewable energy is from an independent fund created by a feed-in tariff on renewable energy when it enters the power grid. This type of financing is not subject to political interference, while Spain’s renewable energy, Brandt observed, was an artificial government support that helped create a bubble economy that has recently collapsed in Spain.

Turning to the subject of the transfer of renewable energy technology from western countries to Asia, Brandt made several observations.

He noted that water scarcity is a growing issue across the globe and that recycling water was an area virtually untouched in Asia. As an example, he said that 60 percent of the water in Germany was recycled, but in Malaysia that figure was only 5 percent. Turning to technologies that might work in Asia, there are several countries, Pakistan is one, that do not have enough wind to generate wind power. However, Brandt noted that 80 percent of the world’s cities are located within 50 kilometers of oceans, and ocean currents could be tapped to power the cities.

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