Sunday, May 1, 2011

Hospitals going green can boost solar panel industry

PETALING JAYA: The Health Ministry’s initiative to introduce green technology in Government hospitals can help boost the solar panel industry, said environment groups.

In welcoming the initiative, they said the Government would create an impetus in the market if it chose to implement that technology.

Centre for Environment, Technology and Development (Cetdem) executive director Anthony Tan said this would in turn stimulate demand and help lower prices to make solar panels more affordable for the middle-class.

“The onus is on the Government to take the lead. Solar panels are manufactured in Malaysia yet all are exported at the moment,” he said.

He said such a move would also boost the banking sector’s confidence in energy service companies, which came up with plans to reduce energy usage.

“One of the biggest barriers for these companies today is funding. Government support will give the banking sector a benchmark in supporting it,” he said.

Tan stressed that optimal management of air-conditioning units in hospitals was also vital in maximising energy efficiency.

He was responding to a statement by Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai that public hospitals would turn to green technology in a bid to reduce their electricity bills, which now amounted up to thousands of ringgit a month.

He said the “greening exercise” would be carried out by the private sector and encouraged companies to propose the best possible ways to help the Government reduce electricity costs at hospitals.

Environmental Protection Society president Nithi Nesadurai said it fully supported the move, describing it as “the right way to go”.

He said the ministry would have to appoint a suitable leader to guide this shift towards green technology.

source: The star

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