It is a challenging start for the year 2020 for all of us worldwide. In this time of pandemic crisis, the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has imposed movement control order (MCO) since 18th March 2020 on the whole nation in the hope to counteract the quick spreading viral disease, COVID-19. Although it may seem as a risky strategy, however, we have seen improvement from the effects of MCO in terms of recovery cases and flattening of the curve.
Anyhow, as MCO continues to prolong for the time being, many industries are struggling to maintain their normal business operations. As most industries have been obliged to abide the MCO by putting their businesses to a halt or having an alternative to work from home, these industries are facing their own crisis too. Particularly, these industries are striving hard to manage their long run as shutting down the operations during these periods may lead to the downgrade of their businesses. The Socio-Economic Research Centre Executive Director Lee Heng Guie, has presumed that MCO extensions will certainly put Malaysian economy at risk by 3% this year.
As such, by the time when the industries are allowed to operate again, most would have the difficulty to cope with the losses. The good news is that – shifting from conventional utility to solar energy will provide a better and quicker recuperating process. Solar energy can help the industries to reduce the electricity bill up to 30 – 50%* while at the same time fulfilling the energy demand by providing sufficient energy for usage.
Here comes the interesting benefit of investing on solar energy – when there is excess energy generated by solar panels, this energy can be channeled back to the connection grid. From here, prosumers will receive lucrative return of investment (ROI) under the TNB Net Energy Metering (NEM) scheme. Through NEM, business owners can regain from the losses during MCO period and have the opportunity to stabilize their businesses in order to prevent from further losses.
Nonetheless, as far as there are concerns on the side effects of MCO, the environmental quality is showing surprising improvements. It may be odd to say that COVID-19 has brought positive impacts on Earth but it is an undeniable truth.
According to DOE Malaysia, there is an increased number of recorded “good” air quality readings (Air Pollution Index = 1 – 50) from air monitoring stations throughout the nation starting from the first week of MCO. With a total of 68 air monitoring stations, 57% of the stations were recorded “good” air quality readings as of 26th March 2020 compared to the recorded readings from 2 weeks before that, where only 28% of the stations were recorded as “good” air quality. Whereas, in China, the carbon emissions had reduced by 18% between early February and mid of March this year due to the great fall in coal consumption and industrial output during the COVID-19 outbreak.
The global carbon emissions could fall by more than 5% this year according to Professor Rob Jackson, the chairman of the Global Carbon Project and this might be the largest drop since WWII. However, the declination of carbon emissions caused by COVID-19 can be short-lived and is likely to rebound as the economy recovers without any structural changes.
As such, why not we opt for clean energy to improve and to preserve the environmental condition now rather than reverting it back to a sick planet? Do we need to wait for another new pandemic crisis? Hopefully not!
UN has projected that the population in Malaysia will reach 36 million in the next decade and at least 40.5 million by 2050. When the population continues to expand, solar energy provides sustainable solutions for future increasing energy demand. Increase in energy demand will increase in carbon emissions, especially when the energy is vastly sourced from conventional methods.
Solar energy is a matured clean and sustainable technology that is seen as the future leader of energy options. It is safe, convenient and affordable. Most importantly, it is environmentally friendly as it does not emit carbon emissions during operational and helps in mitigating climate change.
When Sun gives lives on Earth, ones should appreciate its light as much as ones appreciate their own lives.
Sources: International Energy Agency (IEA), Department of Environment (DOE), Global Data Energy, Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB), United Nation (UN), CarbonBrief
BSL Eco Energy supports the UNDP’s Sustainable Development Goals and Malaysia’s commitment on reducing its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 45% by 2030 from the 2005 level under Paris Agreement.
* If you are interested or having any inquiries on solar energy, please do not hesitate to contact us at email@example.com for FREE CONSULTATION service. Let’s support clean energy today!
Sandra Abe’ Geraman, Sales & Engineering Executive | B. Eng. Environmental (UM), M. Energy Science (Kyoto University)