PRESS RELEASE

KOTA KINABALU (26th Sept 2010): A renowned energy expert who did a study on Sabah’s options in resolving its power shortage problem without resorting to a coal-fired power plant will take on a new role at the World Bank on Oct 4.

Professor of Energy, Daniel M. Kammen who is with the University of California in Berkeley, will become the organisation’s Chief Technical Specialist for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency.

Kammen and several others prepared a report titled “Clean Energy Options for Sabah: An Analysis of Resource Availability and Cost” after he was commissioned by Green SURF (Sabah Unite to Re-Power the Future).

He also presented a summary of his report at a public forum on energy options held here in March, where he answered queries on types of cleaner power sources that would be viable for Sabah.

Kammen who is among the world’s leading authorities on energy, had stated that Sabah, and Malaysia as a whole, stand to gain from using clean energy as it is a premium product.

His appointment to the World Bank was reported in several American publications, including the San Francisco Chronicle and Grist Magazine.

In an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle, he was quoted as saying that energy use was growing rapidly in developing countries.

“In terms of implementing new ideas and hardware, developing countries is where it is at,” Kammen was quoted as saying.

The newspaper reported that one of his tasks at the World Bank would be to help developing nations choose the right policies and techniques to expand their use of renewable power.

Green SURF’s Cynthia Ong said the coalition of non-governmental organisations was pleased to learn about Kammen’s new job.

She said Kammen’s report was submitted to a number of Government representatives, including Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, adding that findings of the study was widely reported locally and in international publications and online sites.

“We are aware that there are people who have questioned Kammen’s report, despite our assurance that he is a world renowned energy expert.

“Kammen’s appointment to the World Bank is testimony of this, and we congratulate him,” Ong said.

She added that Green SURF would be more than happy to share the report with anyone who has not read it.

Green SURF is made up of Land Empowerment Animals People (LEAP) of which Ong is executive director, Sabah Environmental Protection Association (SEPA), Malaysian Nature Society (Sabah branch), Partners of Community Organisations (PACOS) and WWF Malaysia.

The coalition was formed a year ago when Najib announced plans to construct a 300 megawatt coal-fired power plant at Kampung Sinakut, in Felda, Lahad Datu.

The proposed plant is at the shores of the globally significant Sulu Sulawesi Marine Ecoregion and at the apex of the Coral Triangle.

Following protests and concerns raised by Green SURF and individuals who support the coalition, the Department of Environment rejected the Detailed Environmental Impact Assessment (DEIA) in August.

It remains unclear at present if the proposed project will continue.

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