BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN – Brunei will develop a 30 MW solar power plant in Kampung Sungai Akar, paving the way to cut carbon emissions and shift towards renewable energy.

The new solar farm will contribute to Brunei’s target of generating 100 MW of solar energy by 2025, energy minister YB Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Mat Suny Hj Md Hussein told Legislative Council (LegCo) members during a meeting on February 3.

The minister did not disclose the investment amount and time frame for completion of the new Sg Akar solar farm project.

He said Brunei will expand its solar energy project, which started in 2011 with the $20 million Tenaga Suria Brunei 1.2 MW solar power plant in Seria.

Local companies such as Brunei Shell Petroleum (BSP) and Berakas Power Company have already installed solar photovoltaic (PV) technology earlier this year, the minister added.

BSP last year began construction of its 3.3 MW solar park near its headquarters at Seria’s Jln Tengah.

It was previously reported that 7,000 solar panels would be installed to power BSP’s headquarters, equivalent to the electricity consumption of about 600 households per year.

Berakas Power Company’s first solar PV system project began last December after the rooftop of its head office was installed with 320 solar panels.

The vast majority of the country’s electricity is generated by gas-powered plants, with the energy sector contributing 80 percent of Brunei’s carbon emissions.

As outlined in the first Brunei Darussalam National Climate Change Policy (BNCCP) document, the government aims to move towards renewable energy to at least 30 percent of total power generation mix by 2035.

The new Sg Akar solar farm is also part of the government’s initiative to slash greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent over the next 10 years.

All industrial greenhouse gas emitters will be required to report their carbon footprint from this year in Brunei’s transition into a low-carbon nation.

Brunei has one of the highest annual carbon footprint per person in the region at 10 tonnes of carbon dioxide, which needs about 200 trees to offset.