Sarawak’s Renewable Hydropower Experience Showcased at SAREF 2019

22 NOVEMBER 2019

Hydropower development has supported Sarawak’s industrial growth, created job opportunities and allowed Sarawakians to enjoy the lowest power tariffs in Malaysia and amongst the lowest in the region.

In addition to energy affordability, Sarawak’s focus on hydropower has enhanced energy security and reliability, and provided the foundation for an accelerated rural electrification programme, to meet United Nations Sustainable Development Goal #7 on access to renewable energy and modern power systems.

One of the topics of discussion at the upcoming Sustainable and Renewable Energy Forum (SAREF) 2019 is renewable hydropower as an energy solution to meet the growing demand for renewable power and reduce emissions in South East Asia, one of the world’s fastest growing and fastest developing regions.

The two-day forum will bring energy thought leaders and subject matter experts together for balanced and thought-provoking discussions on how governments, energy developers, utilities and communities can work together to build a sustainable energy future.

The forum will also feature Sarawak’s resettled communities through their participation in a lunch and learn session as well as performances and videos from artisans behind the world’s longest mat and longest sape’ performers. Their popular handicrafts will be sold at the forum market.

The discussion on renewable hydropower is the first plenary session of the inaugural forum which will be held from 10 to 11 December at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK). In addition to an international line-up of speakers, invited guests include community leaders from the Bakun, Batang Ai, Baleh, Murum and Baram communities. Community NGOs include the Peng Maren Uma Sungei Asap, Peng Doh, Murum Penan Development Committee, Balui Lake Native Association, Pertubuhan Kebajikan Penduduk Baleh and Save Rivers.

“We look forward to balanced discussions towards a point of confluence but where different points of view are also heard,” said SAREF chairman and Group Chief Executive Officer of Sarawak Energy Datu Haji Sharbini Suhaili.

The focus of discussions at the forum will be on how the energy industry and different sectors of society can collaborate in building a sustainable energy future while helping to meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, allowing energy players and stakeholders to explore potential collaboration among them.

Representatives from key organisations such as United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), World Bank Group, Terracycle, ASEAN Global Energy Interconnection and the International Hydropower Association (IHA) will be speaking at the forum in addition to partner agencies from UN Global Compact Network, Malaysia and Malaysia’s Sustainable Energy Development Authority (SEDA).

Details of speakers are available at

Sarawak Energy Group Chief Executive Officer, Datu Haji Sharbini Suhaili (4th from right) at a recent event at Uma Baha in Bakun Resettlement Scheme.

Sarawak Energy’s partners with community artisans and Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS) to diversify and elevate the commercial viability of traditional handicraft products to expand their sustainable livelihood opportunities.