There is near unanimity among today’s scientists that fossil energy will become rare and expensive in the not very distant future. As an emerging economy, Malaysia must seek to satisfy the energy needs of her rapidly expanding industry and a growing population. The Malaysian government is drawing policies that encourage use of alternative sources of energy. The renewed interest in this field of study comes from the undesirable effects of pollution from burning fossil fuels.
UKM researchers from the Faculties of Science and Technology, Engineering and the Built Environment, Solar Research Institute and the Institute of Cell Fuel are contributing towards this effort. Research carried out includes thin layer silicon photovoltaics, thermal solar, and hybrid wind-photovoltaics, amongst others. Work in hydrogen energy technology includes the catalytic production of hydrogen from hydrocarbons, hydrogen solar-photovoltaics-electrolysis, photochemical cells and bio hydrogen. Cell fuel technology includes polymer electrolytic membranes (PEM) low temperature solid oxides, fuel bio cells and direct microcell fuels. UKM is also active in low energy architecture research and bio fuels.
Researchers in solar energy particularly are active in community engagement, bringing the products of their research to the community; an example is a solar electrification and telecommunication project to an isolated Orang Asli community in Perak. Renewable energy researchers have managed to garner sizable funding, form collaborative networks with eminent researchers in their disciplines, publish in reputable journals as well file patents.
Prof. Dato’ Dr. Kamaruzzaman Sopian
Solar Energy Research Institute (SERI)
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia
43600 Bangi, Selangor.