Public and private sectors should work together to combat climate change, says fund manager

Currently there are no batteries with capacities large enough to store the gigawatts of electricity generated by renewable sources. —  Reuters file pic
Currently there are no batteries with capacities large enough to store the gigawatts of electricity generated by renewable sources. — Reuters file pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 13 — The public and private sectors should work together to address climate change, particularly by innovating affordable storage solutions for electricity generated from renewable sources.

Mellon Capital Managing Director, Head of Equity Portfolio Management Karen Wong said climate change was now among most serious issues confronting the globe and shifting towards renewable energy to produce electricity was one of the ways to counter the problem.

“Renewable energy sources cover wind farm, solar and other sources. A lot of them are very hard to predict. When you generate electricity from fossil fuel, we can actually control it (the amount of electricity generated) a little bit.

“But when you rely on the wind, you can’t predict how strong the wind would be in the next 24 hours or next week. The power generator from the renewable sources (currently) are really unpredictable. You can’t have a huge supply in a short period of time,” she told Bernama.

Thus, Wong called for both the government and private entities to invest in the infrastructure and technological innovations related to how to make the battery storage life for generated electricity from renewable sources to last longer at an affordable price.

“We don’t have a battery that can store up to gigawatt per hour of power (at the moment). The infrastructure is not there to store the power or electricity produced from renewable energy.

“We can have a large capacity of battery but if it is not affordable and if we could not put it in our house, how good it could be for us,” she quipped.

To date, the renewable energy sources have taken up only 10 per cent of the total total power generation sources around the globe.

On the corporate front, for example, Wong said the changes could be made through a proxy voting where the investors or shareholders had the right and ability to influence the company.

She said some shareholders were already demanding certain companies to disclose their research and what they were doing to help to reduce global temperature rise by less than two degrees.

Although corporate awareness on climate change is rising, but the level still leaves much to be desired, she said, adding that, “It (the awareness) should be higher, thus drastic change is needed at all levels of management.”

“The change (from fossil to renewable sources) requires a lot of coal companies to shut down or start shifting from oil and gas (towards renewable sources). That brings back to what I said earlier about the lack of infrastructure.

“We want the green slice to get bigger, ideally 100 per cent, but that requires a significant investment in manufacturing, power generation and infrastructure such as power grid, batteries and so forth to store that kind of power,” she said. — Bernama 

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