Brunei poised to roll out feed-in tariffs


The southeast Asian sovereign state of Brunei – a nation synonymous with fossil fuel riches that provide its citizens with one of the highest standards of living in the world – is preparing to embark on a renewable energy path that the country hopes will transform its future.

Brunei’s Minister of Energy at the Prime Minister’s Office, Yang Berhormat Pehin Datu Singamanteri Colonel (Rtd) Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Mohd Yasmin Hj Umar, announced today the country’s plans to roll out an FIT policy over the next 18–24 months. ??It is hoped, YB Pehin Dato Hj Yasmin claimed, that the introduction of FITs will help Brunei reach its goal of achieving a 10% renewable energy output by 2035 – one of a number of objectives outlined in the upcoming Energy White Paper.

Although there remains plenty of work to be done at both a macro and a micro level, the Minister is hopeful that FITs will bolster Brunei’s climate change agenda and also bring financial benefit to Bruneian citizens who install solar panels on their home. ”An introduction of such a system would spur home ownership of solar photovoltaic (PV) technology,” he said. ”This would give homeowners a personal stake in the development of renewable energy in the country.”

The production and export of crude oil and natural gas currently accounts for 90% of Brunei’s GDP, yet with its tropical equatorial climate, solar power is an equally abundant – but as yet widely untapped – source of energy.

The Minister hopes that solar power’s clean reputation will attract private sector investment to aid the rapid deployment of the required infrastructure, adding that the addition of FITs would be complemented by the development of smart grids to help the sector take root. ??YB Pehin Dato Hj Yasmin made his remarks as the keynote speaker at the Renewable and Alternative Power Generation Workstream under the East Asia Energy Cooperation Task Force.

The Minister also launched a workshop intended to draw attention to the potential of PV and FITs, adding that it was the obligation of East Asia member states to tackle a situation that sees approximately 600 million people in the region live their lives without a stable electricity supply.