Friday, April 23, 2010

Happy Earth Day ... !!!

Activities around Earth Day in Malaysia.

My opinions:

Malaysia government should set the target much higher, 25 tree per person.


planting 1 billion tree in 5 year - offsetting 130 billion tone of C02 in 4 year. (1 tree = offset 130 tone CO2). 

Economic gain according to REDD (link1, link2):
= 130 B x USD 10 CO2/tonne 
= USD 1.3 trillion.

(please correct me if fact is wrong).

Pulau Pinang:

April 22, 2010 — The state level launch of the 26 million trees for Malaysia is held at the Esplanade, Penang.

Penang is giving away free Tecoma plants (also known as Spring Blossom of Penang) to Penangites who are interested to plant the trees in their community. This trees, when in bloom looks like the Sakura flowers in Japan.

All Aduns and Head of Departments are invited to witness the launching and they are given a tree each to plant at the Esplanade.

When asked about the absence of UMNo, Barisan Nasional Aduns, YB Phee said their absence is obvious. Phee claimed that the Penang State Government under the Pakatan Rakyat can rise above politics to work together with the Federal Government to heed this call to green Malaysia. However, the UMNO Barisan Nasional state leaders in Penang are only interested in playing politics. --

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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

my $1 on: Incandescent Lamps to be phased out in Malaysia gradually

   Time to do promote community campaign exchanging light bulb with old one. yes, the cost of CFL is expensive more than RM 10/pc - this is social innovation with positive economic impact - focus on high density residential area first like dbkl flat in Kuala Lumpur and several city in north and south. Sime Darby & Osram has done CFL exchange programme at the rate of RM 50 for 8 pieces (RM 6.25/pc) in July 2009 - cheap but not cheap enough.

   Phase out incandescent lamps is good move - well done, but moving toward the target is much more important. My expectation of government action in this matter is not up to the  limit of sending army to change light bulb like Venezuela (BBC News,March 8 2010, Light bulbs power Venezuela out of electricity crisis, retrieved from on 17 April 2010). 

Our neighbor, Philippines - really focus on local community movement to catalyst the campaign. And Singapore - bring the Energy Efficiency campaign to primary school level to university called "Project ZeroCarbon".

The Philippine Energy Efficiency Project/Program (PEEP):

Fast Fact


Philippine Energy Efficiency Project
·         The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has provided a US$ 31 million loan in support of the $46.5 million Philippine Energy Efficiency Project.
·         Under the project, 13 million compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) will be distributed, free of charge, to homes and businesses throughout the Philippines – replacing inefficient incandescent light bulbs.
·         The budget for the bulb replacement program is US$ 18 million.

A Few Firsts for Asia
·         This is the very first nationwide program in Asia to replace incandescent bulbs with CFLs.
·         This is the first time an Asian country is receiving carbon market credits for replacement CFLs.
·          The Philippines is aiming to be the first country in Asia to be incandescent bulb free – by 2010.

Cost Savings for Families
·         Families can save 400 pesos a year for each incandescent bulb they replace with a CFL.
·         CFLs can last up to 10 years – 10x longer than traditional bulbs – providing additional costs savings.
·         Even families that buy new CFLs themselves will realize an overall cost savings from lower energy bills and unneeded incandescent bulb replacements.

Big Savings for the Philippines
·         The project will save US$ 100 million in annual fuel costs, and allow the deferment of US$ 450 million in new power plant construction costs.
·         National CO2 emissions will be reduced by 300,000 tons a year, allowing the Philippines to receive approximately 300,000 tons of certified emission reduction (carbon market) credits annually.
·         The project pays for itself and starts realizing a positive cash flow within the very first year.

Incandescents vs. CFLs
·         Incandescent bulbs are inefficient. Less than 20% of the electricity used by these bulbs produces light, while the remaining 80% is wasted as heat.
·         CFLs use the vast majority of electricity input to produce light.
·         There are over 40 million inefficient incandescent bulbs in operation in the Philippines.
·         Every 1 million incandescent bulbs that are replaced by CFLs translate into a 50 MW reduction in electricity demand. The construction cost of a new 50 MW power station is over US$ 50 million.

The Costly Challenge of Powering the Philippines
·         Electricity demand in the Philippines is expected to double by 2030.
·         Without action, there could be power shortages in Luzon and Visayas as soon as 2012.
·         In rural areas, incandescent bulbs constitute over half of evening peak power loads – when the marginal generation cost is 5-10 more than off-peak times.
·         CFL use can reduce peak demand by 40-80%, significantly reducing generation costs.

ADB Support for the Philippines' Energy Sector
·         ADB has provided almost US$ 3 billion to support the improvement of the Philippines' power sector, helping expand barangay (village) electrification coverage from 55% in 1986 to 94% in 2006.

my simple math on PEEP:

total sum needed                                :   USD  46,500,000
-> total financing required                    :  USD  31,000,000

budget for replacement                         :  USD  18,000,000
Amount bulb replacement                      :          13,000,000 unit

Cost/unit CFL                                      :  ~ USD 1.40

Income (benefit):
fuel cost (annual)                                :  USD 100,000,000
carbon credit (annual)                          :               300,000 tonne
carbon credit (USD/annual)                   :           10,000,000
defer power generation:
-> (1,300MW/annual)                           :   USD 300,000,000

Profit =  Income - Cost                         :   USD 400,000,000 - USD 46,500,000
                                                          = USD 353,500,000
Return on Investment (ROI)                  
(excluding. carbon credit)                      : ~ 258 day / 8.6 month.

Strategy for energy efficient for "1Power":
  1. invest in CFL fast, procure CFL now - huge order drive cost down.
  2. don't wait for 2014 - potential revenue loss can mount to more than USD 400M/year.
  3. invest in white roof & green roof - much cheaper than building power plant.
  4. invest in "appropriate technology".
Malaysia still lack of information and simple "cost - benefit  analysis" as  show at above table; what the stakeholders (rakyat, government, TNB , investors and environment as whole) and  benefit from switching from incandescent lamps to CFL. Philippines has a good campaign strategy (equip. with campaign material,  and active partners) involved in the programs and how to finance the activity. 

“The way it would work is that the utility would spend the money and take the risk to make its customers as energy efficient as possible,” he explained. That would include installing devices in your home that would allow the utility to adjust your air-conditioners or refrigerators at peak usage times. It would include plans to incentivize contractors to build more efficient homes with more efficient boilers, heaters, appliances and insulation. It could even include partnering with a factory to buy the most energy-efficient equipment or with a family to winterize their house. - Jim Rogers, CEO of Duke Energy.
   Rather just focusing on traditional campaign - tv, radio and newspaper and magazine - better off the expenditure to be spend into implementation directly to consumers in the local community and the education sector especially bundle the exchanging light bulb activity with competition (example: Project ZeroCarbon 2009) year round. The mechanism of the competition work as schools compete against each other for the most energy saving in each month. The winning schools' each month win - set of energy saving device (CFL bulb) worth equal or more which they have save + matching CFL from the sponsor. Estimated saving more 80% downstream - ROI for school: less than 4 month.

   Same goes to water usage & introduction of "Garbage That Is Not Garbage" program initiative ( City of Curitiba, Brazil) in Malaysia school. have you ever heard about school water bill mount to RM 10,000 ?! The  current limit  for water & electric bill is cap at RM 2,000. As Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said ""Sebagai contoh dalam soal bekalan air dan api, jika kita dapat berjimat cermat sehingga 10 atau 20 peratus ia akan membawa kesan besar kerana kita ada 10,000 sekolah." Therefore, it's wise to award the winner  of the competition/ league  winning  prizes such CFL bulb/ other type of energy saving device/ water collection system etc for better results in the fuuture.

   And if the winning prize (CFL bulb/ energy saving device) can be transferable to other school within the communities, earning them 10% of the value paid for "reward"(CFL bulb"/ energy saving device", that is can be used in services and improvements suggested by the own community.

   This activity can be self-sustained from co-sponsor local company sponsorship with endorsement from education ministries and your ministries.

   Here some example what the US Energy Department have done: 

The Kill-a-Watt Competition at University of Central Florida



   Apart from phasing out light bulb, we can learn from City of Curitiba, Brazil which use innovative Municipal Solid Waste Solution using less power compare to capital intensive - German Solid Waste Solution (Thayane Vitola Rohn (2007). Improvements to Curitiba´s waste disposal system: A comparative study between Curitiba and Germany solutions, Retrieved from 

   Why Recycling (Solid Waste Management) can help increase energy efficiency and cheaply ?! Waste sorting & collection mechanism can be made cheaply from recycle oil drum and stick with label: food, metal, plastic, paper as be done as well.

   Imagine 1,000 student and how much food waste per school in Kuala Lumpur, they contribute per day:

Food separation in school also important as part energy efficient effort in school because food waste represent 56% or 387.83 /kg/cap/year of municipal solid waste components in Kuala Lumpur.  (Iwan Budhiarta, Chamhuri Siwar, Hassan Basri (2007).Simulating A Carbon Hedge Fund and Trading Advantage from the Municipal Solid Waste Management: The Role of Waste-to-Carbon in Malaysia, Retrieved from

Food waste especially can be recycle in organic way through:

1.  Worm composting - vermicompost (story1, story2, story3) can be sold and be channel back to school co-operation and,
 "Think about the RM140mil per year that the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) spends on our waste disposal. Money that Kuala Lumpur mayor Datuk Ahmad Fuad Ismail would like to put to better use like planting more trees and building more parks.--TheStar Malaysia.
2. Bokashi composting with help of effective microorganisms (EM) (intro & success story in Malaysia) to be used for reducing volumes of sewage sludge has often been suggested as feasible in either wastewater treatment plants or on-site wastewater treatment systems such as septic tanks; therefore increase flow rate, increase efficiency of wastewater treatment plant (no longer accessable:

In the United States 5 - 10% of the edible food purchased in a grocery store is thrown away. This disposal wastes the energy used to grow, process,package and transport the food and the energy used to dispose of the garbage. Approximately 1,500 trillion Btu of energy are wasted in this manner every year in the United States.(Whiffen and Bobroff (1993). Managing The Energy Cost of Food. 3, Retrieved from

Recycling is an energy efficient waste disposal option. Compost your organic wastes  and use the compost to supply your landscape plants and garden vegetables with the nutrients and soil organic matter they need. Participate in a recycling program for your aluminum, steel, glass, plastic and paper packaging materials. (For more information, see CIR-958: Backyard Composting of Yard Waste; AE-27: Converting Yard and Kitchen Waste into Compost; EES-73: Enviroshopping Energy Considerations.)

Managing the Energy Cost of Food - H. J. Whiffen and L. B. Bobroff - May 1993                                                            

This simple downstream activity  will resulting multiplier effect energy efficiency  in upper stream and benefiting local communities. 

Why schools' should be the center of focus? It's  center of education and available almost 10,000 school all over Malaysia.

Don't also forget about benefit of White Roof chain effect: White paint might just be the solution to tackling climate change.

1. Hillary (2009, June 16). Cool roofs for hot climates. Retrieved from
2. USdepartmentofenergy. (2009, July 23). White Roof: Secretary Steven Chu discusses the benefits of switching to white roofs and light colored pavements [ Video File]. Video posted to



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Monday, April 19, 2010

Effective Microorganisms (EM) success story at Sungai Kelian, Penang

Will post photo slide show after acquired permission from Jun So.

for now, to view - go  here: EM success story at Sg.Kelian, Penang.

Update: permission received.

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Introduction to Effective Microorganisms (EM)

What is Effective Microorganisms (EM), History and Implementation in Japan.

Penang Adventurer's Club (PAC) :  introduction to Effective Microorganisms (EM) and participate in "One Million Apolohies to Mother Earth".


Credit: TheStar

Credit: TheStar

This idea was initiated by MR Soo Lee Choo (Pak Soo) of EM Admins to organise an event of making One Million EM mud balls and throwing them into various heavily polluted rivers in Penang in a single day. Japan had used EM Technology to clean up more than one hundred heavily polluted rivers over the last 20 years. EM is a proven technology in environmental remediation and all the rivers that have been treated with EM in Japan have also managed to resuscitate aquatic life, bringing back all fishes and other water life forms and aquatic plants. The most famous project in Japan is the cleaning up of the Seto Inland Sea.
PAC has pledged to make 50,000 or more mudballs and we invite PAC Members and guests to join us in this endeavor. Do keep a lookout for the next mudball making session through July ‘09.
Source: PAC


1. Effective mud ball ‘treatment’.
2. PACOne Million Apologies to Mother Earth

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