14 Nov 2017

District Energy to help Iskandar Malaysia meet ambitious climate goals

This agreement, signed in conjunction with COP23, will ensure relevant global best practices are shared effectively between partners and Iskandar and will lead to the establishment of concrete projects and policies to meet Malaysia’s Paris Agreement pledge to reduce GHG emissions by 45% by 2030 and cut 32 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions by 2020.

Martina Otto stated, “According to a 2013 report by the Asian Development Bank, Malaysia could triple the scale of its district cooling industry to a built-up capacity of 575,000 refrigerant tons, the equivalent cooling load of up to 12 million square metres of commercial floor space.

These high ambitions will be achieved through strategic alliances between IRDA and various partners. Action plans under two SE4All initiatives, Building Efficiency Accelerator (BEA) and Global District Energy (GDE), will bring together IRDA partners such as UN Environment and World Resources Institute to make practical gains for energy efficiency.

Iskandar’s intentions under BEA include a new local policy that will impose mandatory green building standards be met before acquiring future planning permissions and a reduction of energy consumption in existing buildings. A local, multi stakeholder coordination group will be formed to incentivize projects implementing these measures.

Under the agreement the Global District Energy Initiative has arranged to conduct rapid assessment of the technical and economic feasibility of selected projects to determine barriers, gaps, initial strategies and recommendations to unlock investment in district cooling in the region. To assist delivery of these assessments a local multi-stakeholder coordination structure will be created and a planning guideline for district cooling will be prepared to cover land requirement for energy plants, best practice capacity, thermal storage types, as well as information on planning for and delivering the integration of renewable technologies and third-party access.

This memorandum of understanding is the culmination of numerous engagements, facilitated through DES, with local stakeholders in Iskandar Malaysia to finalize the action plan, including: Workshop on Building Efficiency Accelerator (BEA) Programme focusing on potential local partners; ii. Global District Energy Initiative (GDE) Forum on Scaling up Investment in Efficient and Low Carbon Cooling in Malaysia; iii. Focus Group Discussions and local site visits and a district cooling study tour.

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