Thursday 20 Jun 2024
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KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 1): Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) is exploring carbon capture and storage (CCS) and hydrogen-based generation solutions to address the sustainable electricity consumption needs of the growing energy-guzzling data centre industry in Malaysia.

TNB chief operating officer Datuk Megat Jalaluddin Megat Hassan said there are limitations to depending on solar energy as a sustainable energy source to power data centres, which require continuous uptime. 

“Solar technology is a given for the country, but the challenge is that it is only available for four to five hours a day. You cannot cater for the whole 24 hours [a day], so we have to source a different kind of technology,” Megat Jalaluddin said during a panel session at the NTT Data Inc Elevate 2023 Conference on Wednesday.

Hence, he said TNB is looking at hydrogen as a fuel for electriciticy generation, as well as integrating CCS for gas fired power plants.

Later on the sidelines, Megat Jalaluddin told The Edge that TNB is working in collaboration with Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) in exploring these potential solutions, with the application of CCS solutions at TNB power generation plants currently at feasibility study stage. In August last year, TNB inked a memorandum of understanding with Petronas for the development of green hydrogen ecosystem and CCS technology.

“By the end of this year, we will decide on how to proceed,” he said.

In seven years, Malaysia is set to see a net decrease of 1,561 megawatts (MW) from coal-based electricity generation as it phases towards a cleaner generation mix. 

Commenting on this, Megat Jalaluddin commented that Malaysia’s reserve margin of 30% to 40% is sufficient to fuel the nation’s consumption needs during the transitionary period.

Malaysia’s installed capacity breakdown in 2023 stands at gas accounting for 37.9% (14,584MW), followed by coal at 33.69% (12,962MW), renewable energy (RE) at 27.05% (10,410MW) and diesel at 1.36% (522MW), according to the latest Power Development Plan 2022 Planning and Implementation Committee for Electricity Supply and Tariff meeting.

By 2030, the breakdown is projected to comprise 38.94% (19,098MW) gas-based generation, 37.81% (18,545MW) from RE, and coal at 23.25% (11,401MW).

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