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Energy planning and development in Malaysian Borneo: Assessing the benefits of distributed technologies versus large scale energy mega-projects

  • Author(s): Shirley, R;
  • Kammen, D
  • et al.

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A contentious debate is taking place over plans for a series of mega-dams under development in Malaysian Borneo. There is little quantitative analysis of the energy options or cost and benefit trade-offs in the public discussion or the literature. To fill this gap we developed a model of the proposed energy system and alternative scenarios using the commercial energy market software PLEXOS. We prepared a 15 year long-term capacity energy expansion model for the state of Sarawak which includes existing generation, resource and operability constraints, direct and indirect costs. We explore a range of demand growth and policy assumptions and model the resulting generation mixes and economic trade-offs. Our central finding is that a diversified generation mix including solar and biomass waste resources can meet future demand at lower cost than additional dam construction.

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