TNB CEO calls for holistic, collaborative way to navigate complexities of Global Energy Transition

TNB CEO calls for holistic, collaborative way to navigate complexities of Global Energy Transition

The ongoing Energy Transition (ET) comes with its challenges and opportunities, which differ sector by sector, and country by country.

Everyone has different starting points for their energy transition journeys as well as resources that they can dedicate to the effort.

“The key opportunity lies in discovering a comprehensive solution that seamlessly spans across all sectors and national boundaries, effectively meeting the expectations of all stakeholders involved,” said Tenaga Nasional Bhd’s (TNB) President & Chief Executive Officer, Dato’ Indera Ir. Baharin Din.

Recognising the intricacies and interconnectedness of the energy landscape, Baharin underscored the significance of a comprehensive and integrated approach to address the complex issues at hand.

“Many expect a rapid and complete transition to Renewable Energy (RE), but the reality is more complex and challenging. For ASEAN, as a developing region, we have the responsibility to balance the energy trilemma to ensure the security of supply and affordability for our customers,” he said at the Reuter’s Global Energy Transition (GET) held in New York, United States earlier on June 7.

Around 800 senior executives comprising C-suites, net zero leaders from the energy, industrial, finance and government sectors, and investors attended the two- day conference.

Speaking at a panel discussion, Baharin said, “In today’s electricity industry, it is vital to adopt a perspective that encompasses both cross-sector and cross-country considerations. This approach enables us to optimise resources, capitalise on economies of scale, and effectively manage the substantial capital expenditure involved, that will facilitate informed decision- making for a sustainable and efficient energy transition.”

He pointed out that between 2018 to 2050, ASEAN would require US$7 trillion or US$220 billion annually in terms of investment in ET to reach net zero carbon emission. For the same period, TNB would require approximately RM440-RM450 billion of capital expenditure (CAPEX) to pursue its own Responsible Energy Transition agenda for Malaysia.

Given that a substantial amount is required as CAPEX for ET, Baharin stressed that cross- sectoral solutions would help optimise resources while meeting everyone’s needs in reaching their respective ET goals. Thus, the government plays a crucial role in establishing clear policies and in providing investment and coordination across sectors to facilitate ET.

Based on TNB’s own experience in driving ET in Malaysia, he said the company is fortunate that the Government provided the much-needed clear policies, funding for new green technology investment and guidance.

On regional interconnection, he said Malaysia and ASEAN are eager to gain similar benefits from cross-border trade as their counterparts in Europe in which such regional collaboration had delivered an estimated 34 billion Euros while helping to smoothen price volatility.

“The common understanding of the criticality of ET over these past 3 years has helped push the ASEAN region to accelerate its interconnection program that has been stalled for over 30 years. The interconnection will help open doors for investment in generation and grid, which will help strengthen the security of supply to the region.

“We have 7.7 GW of existing interconnections, but power trade is primarily done bilaterally through Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) and interconnection agreements.”

Baharin also said that a comprehensive approach to ET would avoid duplication and allow the pooling of resources, expertise, and innovative ideas from various sectors, leading to more effective and sustainable solutions. It would also address multifaceted aspects of the transition, including technological advancements, policy frameworks, societal impacts, and environmental considerations. “This comprehensive approach increases the chances of achieving long-term success.”

TNB’s presence at the Reuters’ Global Energy Transition (GET) conference highlighted the position of the national utility corporation as a leading provider of sustainable energy solutions. By showcasing its commitment to sustainability and innovation, TNB aimed to foster interest from international investors seeking opportunities in Malaysia.

Given Malaysia’s favourable environment for foreign direct investment (FDI), serving as a prime gateway to the ASEAN region, TNB’s presence at the conference highlighted the country’s potential as an ideal investment destination.

Baharin joined the executive panel discussion alongside distinguished industry leaders, including Musabbeh Al Kaabi from ADNOC Group, Patrick Schultz from Veolia, Vaishali Nigam Sinha from ReNew, and Michael Strugl from VERBUND AG.

The engaging session, expertly moderated by Thomas Schlaak from Deloitte, brought together a diverse range of international perspectives and cross-sectoral insights.

The discussion centered around the thought-provoking theme, “Cutting Through the Noise and Curating Cross-Sectoral Consensus,” focusing on the often overlooked yet crucial aspects of the energy transition.

Key topics addressed included the impact of information bubbles and echo chambers, as well as the intricate dynamics of geopolitics turbulence. Baharin’s contribution added depth to the discussion, highlighting the need for holistic and collaborative approaches to navigate the complexities of the energy transition.

During Reuters’ GET, Baharin along with other industry leaders co-signed a Joint Vision Statement that signals the ambition of the energy community to forge a pathway for a greener and more sustainable world.

“By joining forces with esteemed global leaders, TNB is reinforcing its dedication to driving the implementation of our Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) strategy. Together, we aim to accelerate the energy transition, achieve Net-Zero emissions by 2050 and create a sustainable energy landscape that benefits both our planet and society,” explained Baharin.

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