MANY countries are undergoing a significant shift in energy practices and policies. Malaysia and other countries share a common challenge, which is achieving the growing demand for energy while reducing environmental damage, especially greenhouse gas emissions.
Energy informatics has an important role to aid in achieving rising energy demand and transformation. Energy informatics is a dynamic field that often works behind the scenes and could transform Malaysia’s energy landscape, providing the country with smarter, more efficient, and more sustainable energy solutions.
Malaysia is emerging in the economy exponentially, leading to rapid industrialisation and urbanisation, which drives energy consumption.
With this rapid growth, the country vowed to pursue its ambitious sustainable development goal, which is to achieve net-zero emissions by the year 2050. These challenges require an innovative approach to energy management and consumption, and the dynamic nature of energy informatics can be used to manage these two main challenges.
Energy informatics optimises energy production, distribution, and consumption by combining data science, technology, and energy systems. Energy systems can be made more intelligent and eco-friendly by utilising the power of data and technology. A well-known application of energy informatics is the development of smart grids.
Smart grids set a balance between supply and demand, minimise transmission losses and seamlessly integrate renewable energy sources through the use of real-time data and cutting-edge analytics. This is a game-changer for Malaysia because it has an abundant solar energy supply year-round.
Moreover, energy informatics also empowers customers through smart metres and other energy management apps.
With these apps, customers and businesses can access real-time data about their actual energy usage; therefore, they can make informed decisions to save money and minimise energy waste. This not only benefits citizens and businesses but also contributes to achieving Malaysia’s sustainable development goals (SDGs).
The recent surge in Malaysia’s temperature and haze severity has proved that sustainability is not just a buzzword but a reality that is inevitable.
Besides, energy informatics can help Malaysia move closer to achieving its sustainable development goals. This can be achieved by optimising energy use, identifying inefficiencies and minimising greenhouse gas emissions.
The majority of Malaysians live in urban areas; therefore, energy informatics is crucial to their daily city life. Urban areas as well as smart cities are equipped with intelligent energy management systems to reduce energy waste, improve quality of life, and make life more sustainable.
The results of energy informatics can be clearly seen in buildings that automatically adjust their energy consumption according to their needs. While the potential of energy informatics is immense, it comes with its own set of challenges.
Ensuring the security of energy data and systems is thus paramount. The integration of renewable energy sources can be complex, requiring sophisticated algorithms and grid management. Education and awareness are necessary to realise the full benefits of these technologies.
However, the rewards are worth the effort. Energy informatics not only helps Malaysia meet its energy needs efficiently but also positions the nation as a leader in sustainable practices. It attracts investment in green technologies and fosters innovation in the energy sector.
As Malaysia seeks to power its future, energy informatics stands as a beacon of hope. It is the invisible force that is reshaping our energy landscape, making it cleaner, smarter and more sustainable. It empowers us, the consumers, to take control of our energy usage while also supporting the nation’s ambitious sustainability goals.
Malaysia’s journey towards a greener, more prosperous future is powered by data and technology, and energy informatics is at the heart of this transformation. – Oct 25, 2023
Dr Moamin A. Mahmoud is a senior lecturer at the Department of Computing, College of Computing and Informatics, Universiti Tenaga Nasional (UNITEN).
The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.
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