The country has seen total energy consumption grow regularly and consistently with an average of 5.1% per annum. This upward trend has not been complemented by an increase in supply.
With the cost of fossil fuels rising every year, Malaysia is looking to rely on more sustainable sources of energy and more energy-efficient power consumption. In 2011 alone, the country spent a whopping RM14.5bil to buy fossil fuels to generate energy. The Malaysian government has also pledged to reduce a 40% reduction in carbon emissions intensity by 2020 (compared to 2005 levels) and increase energy efficiency by 15% in 2030.
Unlike fossil fuels, which are finite, renewable energy sources regenerate. Renewable energy is energy that tapped from the continually replenished sources, typically solar, biomass, wind, tidal, and hydro. The potential of large hydropower in Sarawak is largely known with several studies undertaken by government bodies, consulting firms, and utility companies. However, the potential of small renewable sources comprising of solar, biomass, wind, tidal, and small hydro is largely unknown and hence, these resources are largely untapped.
Recognizing the importance of utilizing these small renewable energy sources, the Energy Design Challenge welcomes studies to determine the theoretical and economic potential of these small renewable sources, and mapping of these resources to explore and identify their potential applications for fully utilization in urban and rural development.
Efficient energy use, or simply called energy efficiency, is the goal to reduce the amount of energy required to provide products and services. Improvements in energy efficiency are generally achieved by adopting a more efficient technology or production process or by application of commonly accepted methods to reduce energy losses.
There are many motivations to improve energy efficiency. Reducing energy use reduces energy costs and may result in a financial cost saving to consumers if the energy savings offset any additional costs of implementing an energy efficient technology. Energy efficiency and renewable energy are said to be the twin pillars of sustainable energy policy and are high priorities in the sustainable energy hierarchy. Energy Design Challenge welcomes projects in energy efficiency studies and monitoring, and smart energy management and optimization.