THE ENERGY TRANSITION CONFERENCE 2023 : Empowering a Sustainable Future


The Energy Transition Conference 2023 saw the historic launch of the second phase of the National Energy Transition Roadmap (NETR) by the Prime Minister of Malaysia YAB Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim (second from the left). Also present were the Minister of Economy YB Tuan Mohd Rafizi Ramli (far left), the Minister of Natural Resources, Environment, and Climate Change (NRECC) YB Tuan Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad (centre), the Chairman of TNB Dato’ Abdul Razak Abdul Majid (second from the right), and TNB President/CEO Dato’ Indera Ir. Baharin Din.

In the grand scheme of global efforts to achieve net-zero emissions and facilitate a transition to green energy, Southeast Asia assumes a pivotal role. The region is witnessing a surge in climate action, with nearly all countries in the region committing to achieving net-zero emission, albeit with varying timeframes and specifics for implementation. As an increasing number of countries in the region accelerate their development, the need for effective transition models becomes ever more pressing.

The pursuit of sustainable, responsible, and renewable energy-based power production – a foundation we can depend on today and for generations to come – requires an unprecedented level of collaboration and cooperation. Nations within the region, such as Malaysia, remain committed to prioritising energy efficiency and renewable energy in the forthcoming years, with a special focus on industrial contributions. Join International Business Review as we explore this electrifying and imperative development.

With such significance in mind, on 28 and 29 August, Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) took the initiative to gather over 2,000 domestic, regional, and international stakeholders to exchange knowledge and solutions towards a better life and a brighter future.

Powered by TNB at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, The Energy Transition Conference 2023 was a thought-provoking and electric feast of great minds and great news. Built upon four pillars – future of energy, green mobility, sustainable cities, and digitalisation – over 60 speakers shared their wisdom and experience in talks and panel discussions. Such an initiative, joined by the numerous Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) signed between TNB and other parties – most significantly PETRONAS.

The conference was attended by many high-ranking government officials and decision-makers from across the world, but Prime Minister, YAB Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Minister of Natural Resources, Environment, and Climate Change (NRECC), YB Tuan Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad, Minister of Economy, YB Tuan Mohd Rafizi Ramli shone the brightest at the conference.

“There are vast opportunities that will come with clean energy transitions across the supply chain, from manufacturers of solar panels,
electric vehicle (EV) charging facilities, and battery energy storage, to a host of other technologies.”
– YAB Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim,Malaysia’s Prime Minister,on the opportunities brought about by NETR

The path towards energy transition is an extensive and demanding journey, one that necessitates cooperation, patience, understanding, and unwavering determination.

Over the years, Malaysia has made progressive commitments towards climate transition. Achieving Net Zero by 2050 is a challenging ambition that requires innovation, risk-taking, investment, and even cross-border collaborations and exchange on both technical and policy levels.

One of the main solutions to achieve our Net Zero goal is to restructure the economy with the support of financial allocation, technology transfer, and capability building. Various policies have been established to enhance environmental sustainability, including various initiatives outlined over multiple Malaysia Plans including setting the goal of 70 percent Renewable Energy (RE) installed capacity by 2050. The Net Zero 2050 ambition will also serve to enhance the future economic resilience of the country by catalysing the move towards future green economy sectors.

It was with that aim that The Energy Transition Conference 2023 was held by TNB not only to serve as a knowledge-sharing platform but also to facilitate the shaping of collaborations that will reshape the energy landscape in Malaysia and across ASEAN alike. To allow that to happen, and in line with their thoughtful tagline “Accelerating Responsible Energy Transition,” the conference held more than 30 plenary, dialogue, spotlight, and breakout sessions, covering various topics such as the latest trends and shifts in sustainable power production and storage, innovative

Malaysian Prime Minister YAB Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim is being presented with the new two-wheeled EV by the German manufacturer, BMW.

power distribution business models, designing smarter and greener cities, incentivising green mobility, and forward-looking regulation
and policy-making solutions to make the transition happen.

In the opening ceremony, TNB chairman Datuk Abdul Razak Abdul Majid highlighted TNB’s central role in making responsible energy transition possible: “Those involved in facilitating the energy transition must look beyond balancing the energy trilemma and look into the missing component of equity and inclusiveness to ensure no one is left behind in the process.” With more than 70 years of experience in the energy industry, TNB’s dedication to both the nation and the industry’s future remains unwavering. The company recognises its role within the electricity value chain and is determined to actively participate in the agenda for a responsible energy transition program.

The Minister of NRECC, YB Tuan Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad, highlighted the almost unprecedented need for collaboration for a smooth energy transition by saying “The need for nations and enterprises alike to collaborate on climate action through a shift towards a low-carbon trajectory has reached an unprecedented level of urgency.”

The Malaysian government is hoping to work closely with all parties in the renewable energy (RE) industry to ensure a just and systematic transition, considering the energy trilemma of affordability, security and sustainability. According to YB Tuan Nik Nazmi, a new investment of approximately RM637 billion up until 2050 in RE is required, which includes investments in RE generation sources, strengthening of grid infrastructure including transmission lines enhancement, energy storage systems integration and grid system network operation augmentation. He said a robust and flexible grid is critical as the intended ramping up of RE will be very much solar-based.

The TNB Energy Transition Conference welcomed over 2,000 attendees including government and industry decision-makers and practitioners, scholars, energy sector stakeholders, and media partners.

On the topic of the need for cross-border cooperation, Director General of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), Francesco De La Camera, mentioned the sensitivity of time in the context of achieving Net Zero goals, and said “Taking into account the imbalance in the RE investments and the time-sensitive nature of the energy transition and Net Zero goals, fostering international and regional cooperation is imperative.” He also mentioned that Malaysia can take the lead in regional cooperation in ASEAN.

The region’s largest energy transition conference explored intriguing ideas about the future of energy transition about the role of Artificial Intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), modernised grid designs, backup, and storage solutions for RE sources, and the pivotal role of interconnecting power grids regionally. Thoughts and solutions were also exchanged around the future of charging stations for electric vehicles (EV) and power distribution considering the rapidly expanding EV market.

Another focus point of the conference was digitising power generation, storage, and consumption through AI and other smart technologies to increase reliability and efficiency. The role of smart cities in circular economy and decarbonisation was another thought-provoking topic that was covered at the conference.

Apart from it being a necessity, energy transition is equally a challenge and an opportunity. Acknowledging that, the CEO of the English renewable energy company,Octopus Energy, Greg Jackson stated that both free and monopolised energy markets have their eyes on the same objective of accessing and distributing the cheapest electricity and added that “New ideas that are feasible and truly encourage consumers to shift to renewables will succeed, regardless of the nature of the energy market.”

TNB’s booth at the Energy Transition 2023 Exhibition was an exciting interactive show of their contributions and leading role in Energy Transition.

Simultaneously, an exhibition with over 30 exhibiting partners of the conference was held, showcasing their latest innovative solutions and contributions to the energy transition agenda. In addition, an eye-catching immersive show was put on by TNB, showcasing their journey through energy transition, and their adaptation of new technologies on each step of their journey.

Besides the enlightening talks and the exhibition, The Energy Transition Conference hosted the historic launch of the National Energy Transition Roadmap (NETR) by the Prime Minister. In his speech before the launching of the roadmap, YAB Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim highlighted the significance of NETR within the Ekonomi MADANI framework and mentioned, “The NETR will provide policy clarity in shaping Malaysia as a leader in energy transition among Asian economies. It is the starting point to mainstream energy transition in the national development narrative, which will bring positive and sustainable results to the energy sector
and the economy.”

Another interesting event was the signing of an MoU between TNB and PETRONAS to explore Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology for gas-fired power plants. This demonstrates the two companies’ dedication to supporting NETR. Through this MoU, both parties intend to leverage each other’s expertise and align their efforts in the area of CCS technology for gas-fired power plants. The two parties exchanged copies of the MoU in the presence of the Prime Minister and the Ministers of NRECC and Economic Affairs.

TNB put on an immersive show about its journey through energy transition and how its power generation has become cleaner and more efficient with the introduction and adoption of each new technology. TNB aspires to achieve 31 percent renewable energy (RE) capacity by 2025 and 40 percent by 2035.

The Energy Transition Conference 2023 left a positive impact on the attendees, answering many questions and posing new ones that will surely help accelerate energy transition and strengthen ties between energy stakeholders, not just in Malaysia and Southeast Asia, but internationally. The fresh ideas and collaboration projects that were triggered during the conference will leave lasting impacts and will lead us all towards a better world and brighter lives.


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