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Identify established practices of renewable energy (e.g.

solar) utilization in
Iran and Brazil and perform feasibility studies in the context of Malaysian
scenario and propose a good sample for Malaysia to follow

Nima Fouladinejad, Nariman Fouladinejad

Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia


Malaysia has favourable climatic conditions for the development of renewable energies like
solar energy, hydro energy and so on due to the abundant sunshine and huge average rainfall
that this country has. But because of some minor problems this country is far from its
potential in utilization of renewable resources. For showing the feasible chances for
Malaysia in renewable resources, this paper will firstly describe about renewable energy in
Iran in terms of the utilization of this energy, regarding the country’s geographical and
climatic properties and potentials. Then renewable energy in Malaysia, its potential in this
field of energy and the possible situation that it should have with regard to its geographical
and climatic properties will be discussed, this will be done by comparison with Iran. The
purpose in this comparison is to show weakness points of Malaysia in some branches of
renewable energy and then there will be some procedures in every part, for sure. For doing
this contrast it is necessary to use another country too, because in the field of bioenergy Iran
is not good and not even comparable with Malaysia and its huge palm oil industry. So in this
part Brazil’s information about bioenergy and technology are used. After doing this
evaluation and showing the blind spot of Malaysia in some specific types of renewable energy
and suggest some feasible procedures, this paper will represent an appropriate sample
(country) for Malaysia that is a good model in terms of exploitation of renewable energy.
This sample is Norway, the reason to choose Norway is for the reason that they are expert in
the renewable energy’s areas that Malaysia has difficulty in, and also the geographical
properties of Malaysia and this country is somehow similar. By the end of this
representation, there will be some new technologies in Norway for generating electricity by
renewable sources that are extremely useful for Malaysia.

Keywords: renewable energy, potential in renewable energy, utilization comparison,

weakness points, feasible procedures, new technologies.

Table of Contents

1.0 INTRODUCTION.............................................................................................................. 3
2.0 IRAN ................................................................................................................................... 4
2.1 Profile of Iran ................................................................................................................. 4
2.2 Hydro energy in Iran ..................................................................................................... 5

2.3 Wind energy in Iran ...................................................................................................... 6

2.4 Solar energy in Iran ....................................................................................................... 8

2.5 Geothermal energy in Iran.......................................................................................... 10

3.0 BRAZIL ............................................................................................................................ 12

3.1 Bioenergy in Brazil ...................................................................................................... 12

3.1.1 A Pioneer in the Use of Ethanol in the Transport Sector ................................. 14

3.1.2 Technological innovation in the automotive industry ...................................... 15

4.0 MALAYSIA ...................................................................................................................... 17

4.1 Hydro energy in Malaysia ........................................................................................... 17

4.2 Wind energy in Malaysia............................................................................................. 17

4.3 Solar energy in Malaysia ............................................................................................. 18

4.4 Geothermal energy in Malaysia .................................................................................. 19

4.5 Bioenergy in Malaysia ................................................................................................. 20

5.0 NORWAY (best sample for Malaysia) .......................................................................... 22

5.1 Hydro energy in Norway ............................................................................................. 22

5.2 New concepts for generating electricity by renewable energy in Norway .............. 24

5.2.1 Tidal power station ............................................................................................... 24

5.2.2 Wave power plant ................................................................................................. 25

6.0 CONCLUSION ................................................................................................................ 27

7.0 REFERENCES ................................................................................................................. 28


Energy is the ability to do work. It is in everything. We use energy for everything we do,
from making a jump shot to baking cookies to sending astronauts into space. Energy Sources
can be categorized as Renewable or Non-renewable. When we use electricity in our home,
the electrical power was probably generated by burning coal, by a nuclear reaction, or by a
hydroelectric plant at a dam. Therefore, coal, nuclear and hydro are called energy sources.
When we fill up a gas tank, the source might be petroleum or ethanol made by growing and
processing corn.
Energy sources are divided into two groups: renewable (an energy source that can be easily
replenished) and non-renewable (an energy source that we are using up and cannot recreate).
Renewable and non-renewable energy sources can be used to produce secondary energy
sources including electricity and hydrogen.
This paper plans just to, discuss about renewable energy. Renewable energy sources include:
 Solar energy from the sun, which can be turned into electricity and heat
 Wind
 Geothermal energy from heat inside the Earth
 Biomass from plants, which includes firewood from trees, ethanol from corn, and
biodiesel from vegetable oil
 Hydropower from hydro turbines at a dam
The use of renewable energy is not new. More than 150 years ago, wood, which is one form
of biomass, supplied up to 90% of our energy needs. As the use of coal, petroleum, and
natural gas expanded, we became less reliant on wood as an energy source. Today, we are
looking again at renewable sources to find new ways to use them to help meet our energy
needs. Renewable energy plays an important role in the supply of energy. When renewable
energy sources are used, the demand for fossil fuels is reduced. Unlike fossil fuels, non-
biomass renewable sources of energy (hydropower, geothermal, wind, and solar) do not
directly emit greenhouse gases.
In the past, renewable energy has generally been more expensive to produce and use than
fossil fuels. Renewable resources are often located in remote areas, and it is expensive to
build power lines to the cities where the electricity they produce is needed. The use of
renewable sources is also limited by the fact that they are not always available; cloudy days
reduce solar power; calm days reduce wind power; and droughts reduce the water available
for hydropower.
But now with all these improvement in technologies and since the deficiency of our non-
renewable sources, devising so many plans to use our renewable sources becomes crystal
clearly indispensable. But for achieving this goal plenty of researches beside tons of
investments are needed. This paper intends to be a useful guideline, in altering the use of
renewable sources in Malaysia to produce renewable energy. There are so many procedures
to modifying the use of these vital resources, this paper represent some of them through
comparing the use of renewable energy in Malaysia with some other countries.

2.0 IRAN:
2.1 Profile of Iran:

Iran is located in the Middle East and is bordered by Iraq and Turkey to the west, Armenia,
Azerbaijan, Russian Federation and Turkmenistan to the north, Afghanistan and Pakistan to
the east. To the south, Iran borders Persian Gulf and the Oman Sea with a long coastline of
2440 kilometres. Iran also borders the Caspian Sea with a 740 km coastline to the north of the
country (figure 1). The country has an area of 1,648,000 square kilometres. Iran is semi-arid
and has diversity of climates. The “Alborz” mountain range is located in the north of the
country with mount Damavand, its highest peak, at 5671 meters above the sea level. The
“Zagros” mountains stretch from northwest to southeast. The middle and eastern parts of Iran
are less mountainous with fewer peaks. Except for the northern and southern seashores,
where high humidity is prevalent, humidity and rainfall are lower from north to south as well
as from east to west.

Figure 1: Iran map [3]

In 2006, Iran‟s population was approximately 70 million, out of which 68% were in the 15-64
years old age group. The population growth rate is estimated at 1% per year. 63% of the
population lives in cities, while the remaining 37% live in rural communities. According to
latest administrative divisions there exists; 30 provinces (Ostan); 939 cities (“Shahr”), and
approximately 68,000 villages (“Deh” or “Roosta”). For many of the standard development
indicators, Iran fits in the „upper middle income‟ countries. [3]

2.2 Hydro energy in Iran:

The average annual rainfall of Iran is about 250 mm, compared to the world (with an average
annual rainfall of 750 mm); Iran is considered as one of the dry countries. But hydro energy
has a long history in Iran, a long experience over the last fifty years of hydro electricity
generation. At present Iran is the third country of the world in the field of dam construction
and water resources management. [1]
Alborz and Iran are two mountain chains in Iran providing suitable conditions for
precipitation. Iran plays a significant role in this respect. Some of the most important rivers
originates from Iran are Karkheh, Dez, Karun, Zayanderoud and Maroun. Total potential of
hydro electricity generation of Iran is estimated to be 50 TWh annually. This potential
includes Karoon, Dez and Karkheh watersheds with the annual electricity potential of 30, 9
and 6 TWh respectively. The potential of the Zayanderoud River is estimated to be 5 TWh.
According to the latest estimation, capacity of Iran’s hydropower plants is 35.4 GW.
Considering the importance of hydropower plants in providing required electricity for the
country, fundamental measures have been taken to utilize this kind of energy. At the end of
2006, 41 operating hydro power plants in Iran with the capacity of 6572.2 MW generated
almost 18265.6 GWh of electricity. From the total capacity of the hydro plants in the country,
18.6% accounted for operating plants, 16.7% under construction plants, 34.7% under study
plants and 30.0% for the plants in identification phase.
There are several types of large, medium, small, mini and micro scale hydro power plants in
Iran. These hydro plants ensure security of supply and an environmentally friendly energy as
compared to conventional fossil-based electricity plants. Hydropower plants are beneficial
from various social, cultural and industrial aspects and help to develop rural areas, reduce
unemployment, and improve regional technical knowledge.
Hydro electricity is more affordable and provides sufficient supply of energy with high
efficiency and longer life span of infrastructure. It is convenient in construction and
operation, considerably reduces energy losses, enhances availability factor comparing to
other types of power plants.
Table 1: capacity of Hydro power plants in Iran (MW), 2006 [1]

Figure 2: Hydro power generation in some countries, 2006 (GWh) [4]

2.3 Wind energy in Iran:

Iran has a large wind potential due to its geographical location. With scientifically reliable
estimate of the regions offshore and onshore wind power potential now is in hand. This
potential could offer many advantages including wind power generation and supplying
national distributing network as well as employment creation in the country.

Figure 3: Wind farm in Manjil with total install capacity of 11.2 MW [5]

In recent years Iran made considerable progress in utilizing wind energy. In this respect, to
the end of 2006, 110 wind turbines were installed in Manjil, Roodbar, Harzevil, Binaloud,
Babaeian, Wentis (Dizbaad), Paskoolan and Sahand with the total capacity of 58.8 MW.
These turbines have generated over 125.3 GWh of electricity. Some units of wind turbines
with generating capacity of 101.7 MW have planned to be installed in khorasan, Gilan and
Ghazvin Provinces, some of which are under construction. As some applied technologies
such as wind are shown to be more appropriate to provide energy needs of rural areas and can
be manufactured in Iran, then such technologies can be used for irrigation and agricultural
purposes as well as electricity generation. In addition to mentioned projects, a national

project is also under implementation in order to produce wind Atlas of Iran. According to this
program, 50 anemometers will install all over the country using some kind of software could
help to calculate wind potential of the country and provide a new edition of Wind Atlas of

Wind turbines have another affect on industry in Iran, because Iranian industries have the
ability to make seven components of wind turbine within the country. These components are:
rubber cable, tower, main shaft, nacelle, hub and yaw system. In addition some research is
being carried out on making generators, blades and power panels through joint ventures. This
ability reduces the price of wind.

Figure 4: Design, manufacturing and installation of a 600 kW wind turbine in Manjil region. [2]

Figure 5: cumulative installed Wind turbine capacity, 2006 (%) [6]


Table 2: Electricity Generation and wind turbines capacity in some countries, 2007 [4]

Figure 6: Iran wind Atlas potential at 80m above the ground level (wind speed m/s) [5]

2.4 Solar energy in Iran:

Iran has a high potential for using solar energy. The average annual solar radiation in Iran is
equal to 4 KWh per square meter and the average sunny hours reaches to 2800 hours per year
(it means about 7.7 hours a day). In some regions such as inner deserts and their surrounding
cities (e.g. Yazd), the average sunny hours even reach above 3200 hours per year (more than
8.7 hours a day). Relentless sun shine and flat, vast area of lands are two important factors for
the world most ambitious solar energy projects. In general, regions with annual direct solar
radiation of at least 1800 KWh/m2 will be proper to build sun-powered plants.

In 2006, the installed capacity of photovoltaic (PV) systems in Iran was 67 KW, with the
electricity generation of around 79.0 MWh. Other notable implementing plants in the same
year include launching Shiraz 250 KW solar power plants, Taleghan 10 KW solar unit,
Tehran 10 KW solar system and installing and operating 80 KW solar electricity generating
system in order to provide 60 rural households to access electricity. These are pilot projects.
Also, in many provinces of the country, solar bath and water heating have been installed.

Figure 7: Design and installation of solar water heaters for urban and remote areas with total capacity
of 30000m2. [2]

Figure 7: Solar radiation in Iran (Wh/m2d) [9]

Figure 8: Cumulative installed photovoltaic (PV) power (MW), 2007 [7]


Table 3: solar electricity generation and capacities in some countries, 2006 [4] [7]

2.5 Geothermal energy in Iran:

The geothermal activities in Iran started by ministry Energy of Iran in 1975, research and
survey indicate that Iran has substantial geothermal potential, specifically in the Sabalan
Sahand (Ardebil Province) and Damavand regions, which are considerable prospects for
electric power generation and direct uses. Deep drilling and exploring operation in Sabalan
(Ardebil Province) was the first major activity for development and deployment of
geothermal energy in the Middle East.

Figure 9: Construction of geothermal power plant with final capacity of 100 MW in vicinity of mount
Sabalan [2]

Figure 10: Geothermal power plant with final capacity of 100 MW in vicinity of mount Sabalan [2]

High potential of the region, being clean and safe, reliable and cost effectiveness are the key
reasons to develop geothermal energy in this region. This activity was proved the availability
of geothermal potential in the region. At present, construction of geothermal power plant in
Meshkin shahr (Ardebil province) is under implementation. The latest drilling and exploring
operation which proved high potential geothermal reserves in the region and many other
advantages including abundant supply of energy and reliability, compatibility with other
fossil fuels, jub creation, energy diversification in energy basket of the country and many
other factors resulted in more utilization and justification of geothermal energy in Iran. The
geothermal potential of Meshkin shahr is proper to install a power plant with the capacity of
55 MW in this region. At present exploring phase of this power plant is completed and
drilling operation and construction of two pilot units (one 34 and other 50 MW capacity) will
be started in near future. As well as electricity generation, non-electricity application of these
geothermal capacities is also considered by planners.

Figure 11: geothermal potential of Iran [8]

Table 4: Installed Capacity of Renewable Energy in Iran (kW) [2]



Brazil is the fifth largest country in the world, covering an area in excess of 8.5 million km2.
It has a population of 174 million people. This country is well known for, firstly, its hydro
powers and, secondly, for its production of ethanol from sugarcane. Hydroelectric power is
one of Brazil's principal energy assets: the republic has by far the largest hydropower
resources on the continent. The Brazilian WEC (World Energy Council) Member Committee
reports that gross theoretical capability exceeds 3000 TWh/yr, with an economically
exploitable capability of over 800 TWh/yr, of which over 40% has been harnessed so far.
Hydro output in 2005 was 337 TWh, which accounted for 84% of Brazil's electricity
generation. Brazil is an excellent model for Malaysia in terms of hydropower usage, for sure,
but here we want to concentrate just in bioenergy production of this country.

Figure 12: Marimbondo Hydroelectric Power Plant [10]

3.1 Bioenergy in Brazil:

Rising ethanol demand in global markets is driving the growth of Brazil‟s sugar/ethanol
complex with new investments in infrastructure and technology. The recent rise in crude oil
prices, paired with a global effort for renewable energy development and a growing domestic
demand for ethanol have been the key factors driving the recent expansion of Brazil‟s sugar
and ethanol industries.

Figure 13: Sugarcane Field [10]


As ethanol in Brazil is made from sugarcane, sugar industry developments are now
increasingly linked to policy initiatives in ethanol markets. Brazil is the world’s largest
exporter of ethanol and sugar (raw and refined) to world markets. Developments in Brazil
significantly affect world sugar prices. In 2006, Brazil exported 18.3 million tons of sugar,
accounting for 41 percent of the world‟s sugar exports. Brazilian ethanol exports in 2006 of 1
billion gallons represented 52 percent of the world‟s ethanol market. (Figure 14)

Figure 14: Brazil's growing dominance among world's largest sugar exports [12]

Figure 15: Sugarcane [10]

Sugarcane in Brazil is cultivated on 6.2 million hectares. Notice that, in Brazil, a single
hectare of sugarcane may yield about 5500 litters of hydrated ethanol and the cost of
production of 1 ton of ethanol is between 170 to 210 US dollars. The Brazilian Minister of
Agriculture (MAPA) expects area planted to sugarcane to expand by 3 million hectares over
the next 5 years by expanding sugarcane cultivation in degraded pastureland. Currently, about
50.1 percent of Brazil‟s annual sugarcane output is used to produce ethanol; the remaining
49.9 percent goes to producing sugar for domestic consumption and for export. So the rate of
production of ethanol in Brazil is about 18 billion litter per year.

3.1.1 A Pioneer in the Use of Ethanol in the Transport Sector

A pioneer in the use of ethanol for transportation, Brazil has established the world‟s most
competitive ethanol industry. Brazil is the lowest cost major sugar producer in the world,
with high producer returns to sugar and ethanol production compared with other crops.
Brazilian sugar producers have benefited from large amounts of available cultivable land,
improved technological advancements, expansion of production capacity of mills, and a
decades-old government policy that has encouraged the establishment of a vibrant ethanol
industry. Brazil‟s production of more than 4 billion gallons in 2006 represented nearly 38
percent of the world total. (Figure 16)

Figure 16: Brazil's ethanol production [12]

Brazil is the largest producer, consumer, and exporter of ethanol for fuel use. Ethanol
represents 15 percent of the total supply of liquid fuels in the country. Currently, the
Brazilian light vehicle fleet of 18 million units consumes 7.3 billion gallons of fuel per year:
4.2 billion gallons/year of gasoline and 3.1 billion gallons/year of hydrated or anhydrous
ethanol. All gasoline sold in the retail market has a 23 percent addition of anhydrous ethanol.
Global interest in biofuels is rising in response to the need for all countries to increase their
use of renewable energy and reduce emissions. Brazil stands out in this context, thanks to its
massive ethanol from sugarcane program. Brazil is the world‟s sixth-largest producer and
fifth-largest market of automotive vehicles. It produced more than 3 million in 2007. The
number of vehicles in circulation exceeds 26 million. Today ethanol accounts for about 50%
of the fuel they use. (Figure 17)

Figure 17: Cars & Light Commercial Vehicles: Fuel consumption [11]

Figure 18: Gasoline v. Ethanol consumption [11]

3.1.2 Technological innovation in the automotive industry:

The Brazilian automotive industry developed the first ethanol-powered car in 1976. But the
real breakthrough came with the development of flex-fuel technology in 2003. The flex-fuel
engine is a highly creative invention. It enables consumers to use gasoline, ethanol or any
blend of the two. This technology automatically recognizes the fuel blend in the vehicle‟s
tank, giving consumers the freedom to choose the fuel or blend of fuels that best suits their
Ethanol costs 40% less than gasoline on average at the fuel pump in Brazil. This generates
competitiveness for the entire economy, not least because it helps keep down the price of
gasoline. Greenhouse gas emissions are also significantly reduced, making ethanol a “green
fuel”. Here are the automotive manufacturers that produce flex-fuel vehicles in Brazil:

Bellow is the graph that shows the vehicle production in Brazil by fuel type:

Figure 19: vehicle production in Brazil by fuel type [10]

And now after these years of researches and developments in bioenergy field and producing
flex-fuel engine Brazil can ensure a supply of ethanol to all countries that seek sustainable
alternatives. And it‟s amazing that unlike other countries where all the farmland is already in
use; Brazil has hundreds of millions of hectares available for expansion of sugarcane
growing that can be done both by using fallow land and by better livestock management to
concentrate pastureland.
Ultimately, these efforts can insure the world markets for Brazil‟s products in the field of
food (sugar), fuel (ethanol) and also vehicle engine (flex-fuel), globally, now. As you can see
several countries have introduced programs to blend ethanol with gasoline.


4.1 Hydro energy in Malaysia:

There is a substantial potential for hydro development, with a total technically feasible
potential of about 123 TWh/yr in Malaysia. As you can see this amount is more than 2 times
bigger than Iran with 50 TWh/yr, because the annual rainfall in Malaysia is between 1500 to
4000 mm, you can see the difference with Iran (average 250mm). [15] With these numbers we
expect Malaysia to have a huge hydropower technology to gain energy from it, but the total
capacity of Hydro power plants is just 28,500 MW you can see the comparison with some
other countries in the figure 20, it is even lesser than Iran with 35.4 GW and far from its
feasible potential.

Figure 20: Tree Types of hydropower in some Southeast Asia countries [17]

So with regard to this information, I think the most patentable renewable energy that must be
investigated in Malaysia is Hydro energy, for sure. I will discuss this issue later in the last
section of this project and I will suggest some procedures and present another country that is
much more similar to Malaysia than Iran.

4.2 Wind energy in Malaysia:

The current utilization of wind energy sources is still limited due to low average wind
velocity in the whole country. The first wind energy facility in Malaysia is located in Pulau
Layang-Layang, Sabah. A Wind Turbine Generator (WTG) hybrid system has been installed
and constructed in November 1995 by Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) Research Sdn. Bhd., a
TNB subsidiary (Renewable Energy in Malaysia, 2003). It can be concluded that wind energy
utilization is still at a pilot project stage and more studies are needed to establish the wind
speed, wind flow patterns and seasonal variation and provide a basis for the selection of sites
for successful installation of commercial scale wind projects.
A number of feasibility study had been done by researchers on the potential of wind energy in
Malaysia. Through a more detail study conducted by Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM)
researchers in 1989, it was found that Malaysia experiences a great amount of wind
throughout the year, i.e., more than 75% of the year time with wind blows of 2.5 m/s and

above. It means that we can use this wind for small purposes like lighting up the roads and
cities. You can see this concept in the figure bellow.

Figure 21: Exploring light wind Energy for Electricity Generation [20]

4.3 Solar energy in Malaysia:

The average annual solar radiation in Malaysia is between 4.21to 5.56 KWh per square
meter and the average sunny hours reaches to more than 4000 hours per year (it means more
than 11 hours a day) and again it shows the upper potential compare to Iran. The whole of
Peninsular Malaysia has been provided with electricity through the grid. As a result, the
application of photovoltaic (PV) power supply is focused to some special applications, such
as remote telecommunications (relays), lighthouses or sea buoys. The application of solar PV
technology is currently focused in east Malaysia namely, the states of Sabah and Sarawak.
The total solar energy utilization of Malaysia is less than 2MW you can see it in the figure

Figure 22: Solar energy utilization in some Southeast Asian countries [18]

Researches show that a solar PV installation in Malaysia would produce energy of about 900
to 1400 kWh/kWp per year depending on the locations. Areas located at the northern and
middle part of the Peninsula and the coastal part of Sabah and Sarawak would yield higher
performance. An installation in Kuala Lumpur would yield around 1000 - 1200 kWh/kWp per
year. This will give Malaysia a great chance to install more PV in Kuala Lumpur to provide
electricity for its residential. But off course before investing in these projects so many
estimations and researches should be performed. It is proven that estimation of solar radiation
by using satellite images is one of the best choices; it can give results at acceptable accuracy
and lower cost. This method is applicable especially for developing and under developed
countries in recognizing the potential of solar energy application.

4.4 Geothermal energy in Malaysia:

Southeast Asia‟s geothermal energy sources are concentrated in Indonesia, amounting to as
much as 40% of the world‟s total geothermal reserves, also in the Philippines and Vietnam
we can see some sources of geothermal energy. Philippines is the world‟s 2nd largest
producer of geothermal energy for power generation. But in Malaysia we don‟t have a good
potential for geothermal energy for investigate in, as you can see it in the figure 23.

Figure 23: Potential geothermal resources [19]

Hot springs, one of the most common manifestations of geothermal activities, occur in
Malaysia and to date, there are 79 reported localities. In Peninsular Malaysia thermal springs
are mainly found along the eastern part of the Main Range batholith though some are found
scattered in other areas while in Sabah high concentration are found within young volcanics
area of the Semporna Peninsular. In Sarawak, few occurrences of thermal springs have been
recorded, which are constricted at the most westernmost area of the state. The potential of
these geothermal resources is yet to be investigated and assessed in detail. At present,
thermal areas are being preserved in their natural state only for the purposes of recreational
activities. A number of these hot springs are already developed into public baths.

4.5 Bioenergy in Malaysia:

Malaysia covers an area of about 329,758 km2 occupying the Malay Peninsula, which lies on
the southern shores of the Asian land mass, and the States of Sabah and Sarawak in the north-
western coastal of Borneo Island. The two regions are separated by about 531 km of the
South China Sea. Peninsular Malaysia, covering 131,598 km2, has its land frontier with
Thailand to the north, and is connected to Singapore by a causeway in the south. The State of
Sabah covering 73,856 km2 and the State of Sarawak covering 124,989 km2 border the
territory of Indonesia‟s Kalimantan and has land frontiers with the two enclaves which make
up Brunei.
Tropical Rain Forest occupies less than 60 % of Malaysia‟s land area and these are found
mainly in the hills and mountains. The potential areas suitable for crop development based
on schematic reconnaissance soil surveys total 4,010,933 ha are under cultivation (2000)
[21]. The major crops under cultivation are rubber, oil palm, paddy and coconut which cover
1,432,567 ha, 2,039,513 ha, 357,734 ha and 115,717 ha respectively [21]. Currently, less than
13 per cent, or 4.3 million hectares, of Malaysia's land mass is planted with oil palm. It is the
bulk of oil palm estates, which were previously planted with rubber, coconut and cocoa. [31]

Figure 24: Vast agricultural estate of palm oil in Malaysia (source Google maps)

In Malaysia, a single hectare of palm oil plantation may yield about 6000 litters of crude
palm oil and the cost of production of 1 ton of palm oil is between 600 to 800 ringgits per
tonne (171 to 230 US dollar) and the price for selling 1 ton of crude oil is about 1899 Ringgit
(550 to 600 US dollar) [22]. For comparison, soybeans and corn-crops often heralded as top
biofuel sources generate only 446 and 172 letters per hectare, respectively. Beyond biofuel,
the crop is used for a myriad of purposes from an ingredient in food products to engine
lubricants to a base for cosmetics. And if we compare this to Brazil and its sugarcane, it is
clear that palm oil industry is excellent and suitable for Malaysia, but there are some major
procedures for being in the top of the producers of biofuel that I like to talk about.

First issue is the agriculture land that is limited in Malaysia and is not abundant like Brazil.
The problem is how Malaysia can stay ahead of the competition among other biomass
Well the answer is: the country still has 18.3 million hectares, or more than 55 percent of its
total land area, under forest. As a developing country, Malaysia could have used up to 30 per
cent of land area for agriculture and still fare better than the UK, which has 70 per cent of its
land for agriculture and just 12 per cent forest but, Malaysia should maintain an optimum
balance between opening up land for oil palm and conserving forest. And also as, Malaysian
palm oil council chief executive officer Tan Sri Yusof Basiron said: “We'll continue to boost
production by improving yield. We're moving up the value chain by offering responsibly
produced palm oil. We'll embark on a nationwide exercise in which planters in Malaysia can
go through a certificate of assurance with the MPOC (Malaysian Palm Oil Council) and
MPOB” for sure it will be a good procedure. [31]
The second issue is that it is obvious that Malaysia is doing so well in terms of choosing a
suitable and profitable biomass, planting it in a suitable land, changing these plantations to
crude oil and exporting them, but the question is that whether Malaysia is doing well in
changing this valuable oil to biofuel (like biodiesel) and exporting this fuel?
The answer is no. As a result for example in 2007 only 128,193 tonnes of palm oil were
processed into biodiesel for export.[31] That is not even one per cent of the 15.88 million
tonnes of total palm oil produced in Malaysia in that year. So as matter of fact, this will be a
very important concern for Malaysia, to devise a plan in processing the palm oil into biofuel
and investigate in this profitable plan to handle the world’s markets in biofuel field (e.g.
biodiesel) like Brazil.
The third issue that worth mentioning is that, it is important to prepare the world markets to
use the biofuel, which Malaysia produces. For example if you look at Brazil, as mentioned
before, they investigate in researches for many years and finally they develop an engine that
can work with any combination of ethanol and gasoline. Then they export this technology to
other countries to use biofuel (ethanol and gasoline) so they prepare the world markets to sell
their biofuel as well as their flex-fuel engine. I think Malaysia should investigate in building
a high-quality engine that can work with its palm oil or any combination of palm oil and
diesel with the same manner as Brazil did. If Malaysia can manage to do this, the world
markets will be open for its biofuel as well as its new technology in vehicle engine because
nowadays, it is very essential to replace the fossil fuel with biofuel.

5.0 NORWAY (best sample for Malaysia):

Norway, officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a country and constitutional monarchy in
Northern Europe that occupies the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula. It is
bordered by Sweden, Finland, and Russia. The distance between the northern and southern
parts of Norway is considerable compared to east-west distances. The country‟s extensive
coastline along the North Atlantic Ocean is home to its famous fjords. Since World War II,
Norway has experienced rapid economic growth, and is now amongst the wealthiest countries
in the world, with a fully developed welfare system. This economic progress is caused in part
by the development of oil and gas reserves off its coast. Norway was ranked highest of all
countries in human development from 2001 to 2006. It also rated the most peaceful country
in the world in a 2007 survey by Global Peace Index. It is a founding member of NATO. [23]
The country has an area of 385,155 square kilometres (almost equal to Malaysia), and the
population of 4,721,600. [24]

Figure 25: Map of Norway [24]

5.1 Hydro energy in Norway:

Rainfall varies considerably across Norway; the west receives far more rain than the drier
eastern areas (Figure 26). So the average annual rainfall in Norway is between 763 to 2250
mm (which is lesser than Malaysia). [25]

Figure 26: Annual rainfall [25]

Norway possesses Western Europe's largest hydro resources, both in terms of its current
installed capacity and of its economically feasible potential. Hydropower & Dams World
Atlas 2006 reported a gross theoretical capability of 560 TWh/yr, of which 187 TWh was
economically exploitable (compare with Malaysia with 123 TWh/yr). The hydro generating
capacity installed by the end of 2005 had an output capability equivalent to about two-thirds
of the economic potential (about 60 TWh/yr compare to Malaysia with only 28 GWh/yr).
Actual hydro output in 2005 was around 136 000 TWh, providing virtually all of Norway's
electric power, and that‟s why Norway is the leading producer of electricity based on
renewable energy sources. [13]
If we compare Malaysia to Norway in terms of their geographical and climate properties and
potential, it will become comprehensible that Malaysia has the potential to be in a same
position with Norway in terms of hydro energy and hydro powers. All Malaysia need to do is
long term researches, excellent management and good investigation in this field, and if
Malaysia can manage to pull this off this country will be illustrious in terms of renewable
energy utilization, since it has a huge palm oil industry as well. So constructing large dams is
the key point to improve renewable energy exploitation in Malaysia. It can increase the
energy generation as well as easing the transmission of energy to rural places in Malaysia.

5.2 New concepts for generating electricity by renewable energy in Norway:

The field of renewable energy is a particularly interesting field to work with, as new
technologies are constantly being developed. Extra support is needed because of the
technological risk. Only a handful of the technologies being developed today in the wave,
wind and tidal field will survive, but it is essential job to make sure they don’t ‘die’ before
they have had the chance to prove themselves.

5.2.1 Tidal power station:

hammerfest Strøm AS, which was established in Hammerfest, Norway, in 1997, installed a
prototype machine for a future tidal power station in Kvalsund in Northern Norway in 2003.
The prototype has not only generated electricity for four years but has also provided much
knowledge as to the development of future machines. The prototype was also the first in the
world to generate electricity from the kinetic power from tidal currents and deliver this to the
grid. Today the turbine is being forensically examined, with the intention to reinstall it later
for further research. Hammerfest Strøm's turbines are designed to be installed in depths of 30
to 100 metres in order to allow ships and vessels to operate without restriction. The
substructure is designed as a tripod, which gives a minimal footprint on the seabed and is
held in place by gravity and additional weights.
The company expanded into the UK in 2008 where the first subsidiary company Hammerfest
Strøm UK Ltd (HSUK) was established in Scotland. The subsidiary will license the
technology and manufacture, assemble, test and install turn-key tidal power stations primarily
for the UK energy market. Its intention is to install a 1MW full scale pre-commercial
demonstration model, called HS1000, in Scottish waters by 2010. In September 2008,
Scottish Power Renewables announced that it was evaluating three coastal sites for the
installation of Hammerfest Strøm's tidal power stations. Each power station will consist of 5
to 20 turbines leading to a combined energy output of up to 60MW. This will provide enough
green energy for over 40,000 British households.

Figure 27: hammerfest Strøm AS, Kvalsund in Northern Norway [27]


The first commercial tidal power station, consisting of up to 10MW, will be delivered to
Scottish Power Renewable in 2012. The UK arguably has the best tidal power potential in
Europe, with an estimated potential of 13TWh per year. As a result, Hammerfest Strøm
intends to establish as much as possible in UK, creating a significant number of UK based
jobs. [26]
Accordingly, for Malaysia, lots of researches and studies must be done for estimating the
potential of this new renewable energy appliance. It can be installed in the sea to generate
electricity for seaside cities of Malaysia. It can dramatically decrease the cost of generating
and transferring power to these cities.

5.2.2 Wave power plant:

Langlee Wave Power aims to be a turnkey supplier of wave power plants, including full
lifecycle services (operation, maintenance, upgrade, and warranty services). The company's
system is a floating array of subsurface wave-power converter modules, which capture the
energy in the horizontal component of wave motion. Each module has two vertical panels, or
pivoted flaps, located half a wavelength apart; waves move the pair of panels in opposing
directions. The design is simple, and equal-but-opposite motion minimises mooring tension.
Proven, Norwegian-developed offshore technology is used and as a result, Langlee wave
power plants can withstand extreme weather conditions and require minimum maintenance.

Figure 28: Langlee wave power plants [28]

Power transmission infrastructure and site approval costs can be shared with new or existing
offshore wind farms. The company is aiming to install a technology-demonstration prototype
at the end of 2009 in order to verify power production and secure the sale of a full-scale
LANGLEE E2 for installation in 2010. Several different wave power concepts are vying for
acceptance; some 15 companies are currently in pre-commercial phase. Almost all competing
concepts aim to utilise the bobbing, vertical displacement of a floating mass.

Figure 29: Langlee wave power plants with offshore wind farm [28]

Langlee argues that this is where it differs from the rest as its investment costs per operating-
surface area (the submerged panels) are relatively low, greater energy production is achieved
for a given level of CAPEX investment. The company projects that, it can double its system‟s
power production via a 30 per cent CAPEX increase. Langlee argues that it offers the right
product for an emerging, worldwide market. Its products and systems are suited to the
moderate wave conditions typical of coastlines all over the world. The company's market
strategy is to focus on energy companies engaged in offshore wind power; industry
participants licensed offshore acreage, environmental compliance costs, and power
transmission infrastructure can be shared and leveraged. It considers this approach the easiest
route for penetrating the emerging wave power market.
Unique advantages:
• Wide areas of application: The LANGLEE E2 wave power system is designed for
deployment in areas with moderate wave conditions (like Malaysia).
• Greater efficiency: Converts a greater proportion of wave energy than competing concepts.
• Ideal for offshore wind farm sites: The LANGLEE E2 is optimized for 2 to 4 metre seas and
water depths of 20 to 40 metres.


Renewable energy technologies are mostly immature and need improvement as well as
breakthrough which are only possible through regional and international research cooperation
and assistance. Looking more precisely to other countries, as a model, and notice what they
have done in renewable energy will be a superior procedure.
The potential of solar and hydro energy in Malaysia is far from its achieved status. Long term
research and investigation is needed for Malaysia to reach its real potential in renewable
energy. Imagine that, it is possible to generate all the electricity that is needed in Malaysia
just with its hydro resources like Norway has done. In the field of biomass although Malaysia
has reached a really immense position but a better option is to think of ways to improve it and
not just be satisfied with what we have. By processing the palm oil and making biodiesel we
can solve the problem of fossil fuels efficiency as well as holding the world markets in
biofuel. Obviously devising a good plan in making a good quality flexible-engine is
necessary for achieving this goal.
An alternative is to work harder to prepare ground for private sector effective investment in
the field of renewable which is a key factor in making renewable energy cost effective and
competitive as well as bring about innovation, creativity and dynamism. And never forget
that only a handful of the technologies being developed today in the solar, wave, wind and
tidal field will survive, but it is essential job to make sure they don‟t „die‟ before they have
had the chance to prove themselves.


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