The Managing Director of E Phase Energy, Andrea has over 20 years of experience in the fields of energy efficiency and renewable energy, in the pursuit of achieving carbon neutral cities. She has conducted numerous energy audits for a wide range of facilities and is a consultant in energy efficient building design and green building certification. Her past works include designing roof Photovoltaic systems for both rural electrification and grid-connected BIPV. She works closely with SEDA on sustainable development training programs and capacity building for the local town councils and private sectors.
THURSDAY 10th Sept
Women in Technology
Technology is an integral part of human society and it is only natural for women to be more involved in technology in this new era. We see women in various technical roles such as engineers, designers, machine operators and programmers, just to name a few. Since the industrial revolution started in the 1700s, it is only in the last century that women played an active role in industry. As industries progressed, so did technology evolve. With this, women had to keep up with the latest developments. Some women, who were early starters became pioneers in their field.
Technology is introduced early on in school and so both boys and girls have equal opportunity to learn it at an early age. The STEM curriculum aims at teaching young children simple projects to build as well as teach them to use computer programs that can be integrated with these projects. This is the basis of AI. The TVET curriculum aims at teaching older students higher level skills or master craftsmanship that is very much needed in industry. Higher education provides opportunities in research and development of a wide range of fields of study in technology. AI can be seen in manufacturing, safety and security, education as well as healthcare, and many other areas with women helming managerial roles, so technical knowledge and skills are crucial.
THURSDAY 10th Sept
Post Covid Carbon Neutrality
In light of the current pandemic, there has certainly been a shift in how we now have to do things. In
relation to carbon neutrality, we are still pursuing the path of fighting climate change by working at
reducing our carbon emissions. It has been reported that due to the lockdown in some countries,
carbon emissions have only reduced between 4 to 7% worldwide. We saw people being confined to
the homes, transportation and travel coming to a near standstill, and most retail and industries
shutting down operations. However, this was limited by uncontrolled burning of forests fires in a few
As we pursue carbon neutrality, we first need to know where our carbon emissions are coming from
and how much we can reduce it. On the contrary, to offset carbon emissions, we also need to source
for cleaner forms of generating energy and having enough forestation as our carbon sink.
One of the biggest consumers of energy is industrial facilities (46%), commercial buildings (32%) and
residential homes (21%). Industrial facilities are high energy consumers and so there’s only so much
you can control. But we found a huge potential when it came to commercial and residential
buildings. When the pandemic hit us, a majority of the industrial and commercial operations had to
cease. Naturally, residential consumption rose as people stayed home. It will be interesting to see
how the consumption trend changes over time and how much society can adapt to the new normal,
once things are under control. All this will certainly have an impact on our carbon footprint.
We generate a total 34MWh mainly from coal, natural gas in Malaysia. Out of that energy mix,
renewable energy produces 22.5% of that, hydro, solar 2%, biomass, biogas. Our solar production is
only 2% and the government intends to increase this to 20% by 2025 through various programs such
as large-scale solar farms and rooftop solar for buildings and individual homes. In order to be carbon
neutral, we need to generate enough clean energy to offset the energy being consumed worldwide.
Things for discussion will include the feasibility of renewable energy to replace fossil fuels and oil,
carbon footprint reduction from all avenue streams and maintaining or increasing the forests as a
carbon sink. We will look at low carbon cities with clean energy generation, integrated public
transportation, environmentally sustainable practices and community health and living. All these
complementing the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.