malaysian oil palm estate

How does the Malaysian oil palm industry fight the dirty sanctions from the west?

Solar Panel installation of the Plantation Industry – planting/energy coexisting

Rightly or wrongly, the oil palm plantation of South East Asia has been accused of flagrant violation of the environment in their quest of opening up the forest to plant oil palm. Especially of noted concern is the EU where most of the land had been open up decades ago for the planting of oil crop and ever facing with competition from the palm oil. And then there is the US lobby that has to handle the cries from its soya oil producers. But truth be told – palm oil is the most efficient form of food oil production. As the competition becomes ugly, dirty sanctions were mooted by the losers just to be able to survive from the palm oil onslaught but would they succeed? Not if the oil palm industry were to try a new tactic – that is to install solar panels on its land to create green energy.

When we refer to the plantation industry, we would normally visualize a large stretch of land planted with cash crops relevant to the particular region, thus it would be normal to visualize the bountiful harvest that we can produce from it. Looking from a different perspective, what would then be the view if we were to also plant long vertical post among the plants? It would be ugly to say the lest – however it would not only be the long vertical post but a post that have a cascading series of solar panels mounted on it as well! That in short is what we meant by ‘solar panel installation of the plantation industry’. It is not like you raze down the crops and plant it with solar panels! Although it is known that the vegetation industry have used lowly mounted solar panels over their food crops as a food/energy integrated system (agrivoltaic), there is no example of a highly mounted solar array onto plantations, especially the taller food crops like the oil palm. But let us figure out the benefits of solar panel installation on the plantations – why would we not incorporate energy generation together with the harvesting of oil crops and not having the crops being cut down? There is indeed a new industry – that of totally using the land for the benefit of the human race. Plantation together with energy production is the game in town – it will become a game changer no doubt. We are also aware that there is a risk in planting any crop, as the price for the produce fluctuates greatly according to the weather and demand. Wars and changing of regimes also will affect the price. Then there are floods and drought which will cause the price to increase. Ultimately, we will need to find a way to address these problems. One of the best solutions is to solarize it by putting up solar panels to generate electricity provided we do not also cut down the crops. The agriculture sector is beginning to toil with agrivoltaic where solar panels are put up to partially cover the vegetable crops. The results so far are encouraging but more will be needed to be done – rearing of cows, goats, sheep and chicken among the space can help boost the income of the farmers while also harvesting energy at the same time. Indeed what we can do with agrivoltaic is truly encouraging but we need to do more. Farmers are really worried that their patch of land will be surrendered to the commercial sectors to solar energy generation. Fears of their crops being cut down are real so much so that farmers are organizing street protests to help preserve their way of living. But there is a win solution for the farmers and the commercial sectors that are championing green energy production. Installing solar panels of food cropping is the way – through this way, the food crops does not need to be cut down. Food crop coexisting with solar panels will be the best solution for everyone – but why did experts not thought about it? However for the idea to work, a specially designed mounting structure will need to be provided – this to mount the solar panels at the top of the tall tree. There will be investment of funds involved and it is not going to be cheap but as we scaled it up, it will become viable. And not only viable, we have to do it before large swath of food crop land disappears from this earth for the sake of cutting down our carbon footprint! The United Nations will need to take note of this endeavor.

This time we should tackle the problems of tall tree crops like oil palm and rubber. In particular we have the problem with tall trees as it is very difficult to harvest when the food or fruits are lying at a great height. Apples and oranges does not pose much of the problem as there are harvesting machines that does a great job but oil palm pose a very serious problem made worse because no one want to work in this back breaking job of cutting the fruit bunch from a great height.

Installing solar panels on the plantation will now be described with the following drawings which depict the oil palm plantation in South East Asia but may also apply to other food crops.

Main reasons for the investment.

1. Cost of solar panels is getting cheaper all the time.

2. Cost of infrastructure (made from oil palm waste) is low.

3. Maintenance fee is low.

4. Newer models of solar energy is at the forefront – increase efficiency.

5. To make oil palm industry really sustainable.

Installing solar panels on plantations is a multi-faceted endeavor.

1. It helps to generate electricity.

2. It also helps to promote easier harvesting.

3. It initiates the path towards automation.

4. It generates energy for own use thus starting new industry on site.

5. It will assist the oil palm industry to wean away from foreign curtailment.

6. The oil palm industry will experience a sense of resurgence.

7. Oil palm industry will begin to toil with green hydrogen generation.

8. Oil palm industry will reduce the migration to cities to get jobs.

9. Palm oil industry being the mainstay of Malaysian industry.

10. Countries go to war to obtain energy but Malaysia stay put to generate enough energy without the need to go to war (over the south china sea for example), and may even be able to export energy to her neighbors – in short, energy producers.

11. If there is such a thing like a Reverse IR 4.0, then the oil palm industry will be in the position as the main driver.

12. The oil palm industry will be Oil Palm Industrial Revolution 2.0

13. Oil Palm Industrial Revolution 2.0 – means food and energy security.

14. It will spur new industries like advance batteries, fuel cells and electrolysis.

15. Will help spur the hydrogen economy.

16. Will help spur fruit and fish/vegetable industry (aquaponics).

17. It will also open to the deployment of wind turbines.

18. It will also open new ways to plant oil palm – with automation in mind.

19. It will lead the way to plant forever height oil palm tree.

20. It will open up entry of more advance agrivoltaics (integrated vegetable and animal farming).

21. Most of all it will lead to the land worth ten times more.

As everybody knows, the oil palm industry is beset with problems, one of the most important criteria is the shortage of manpower. Not that there is really no one who want to work in the industry, but because of the tough work that is required in the harvesting of the fruit bunch, very few would want to in that sector. The problem then arises: riped fruits wasted away because it was not being harvested. Thus there is an urgent effort to tap into automation - unfortunately there has been little success. The installation of solar panels in the oil palm estate will give automation a new shot in the arm because the designed infrastructure is also catered to the automation framework, that is automated devices and sensors can be mounted on the infrastructural framework to enable automatic harvesting as well as mantainance work. Well, looks like it would not be a problem when no one wants to work in the industry. Indeed there would be many who want to work there because of the high technology employed and thus the high pay that accrues.

solar panel installed in oil palm plantations

An example of an oil palm estate with installed solar panels

The future

Through a dirty tactic, the lobby group from EU and US has been misinforming the public that the oil palm industry has destroyed the environment because of the opening up of the forest to plant oil palm. However, part of it is true because there was indeed the opening up of the forest especially in those far off regions of Kalimantan (Indonesia). And because of the threat of the lobby groups to implement sanctions on the sale of palm oil or more specifically palm oil derived biodiesel, the lobby group came out with a condition that they will sanction the sale of palm oil produced by non-sustainable and non-certified producers. According to the EU and US lobby groups, oil palm when grown sustainably, the derived oil is a force for good. It helps protect the environment, communities, employees and wildlife. But when it’s grown un-sustainably, palm oil production can be destructive and damaging. Is there any truth in it? What about oil crops of the EU and US? Are they sustainable? Well, there was the opening up of the forest just so to plant the oil crops and they open up long time ago – so it does not qualify as un-sustainable? Anyway, in order to counter the misinformation from the west, it will do well for the South East Asian oil palm players to implement a new program to make the planting of palm oil a real green affair. To put in in short – just install a whole bunch of solar panels in their estates which can be used to generate green hydrogen to quick start a whole bunch of businesses that would have to use a great amount of energy. That perhaps will also attract the EU and US lobby to copy – for its own future.

wind turbine installed in oil palm plantations

Another alternative with wind turbine

But all things said, there isn’t any crop that can compete with the oil palm crop, especially when the oil palm entity moves far ahead with its coexisting energy production, bearing in mind that there are a total of 14.56 million hectares spread out in Malaysia and Indonesia which when installed with solar panels will generate at least 4 gigawatts per day!

oil palm plantation with installed solar panels

Another way of installing solar panels in oil palm estate solar

Co-generation of hydrogen and ammonia

The generation of energy in the oil palm plantation is for its own use and preferably not to sell it to the electricity grid. Huge amount of energy is needed to propel the generation of hydrogen through the electrolysis of water. Hydrogen is then used to create ammonia (Haber Process) which is the base material for the production of urea. The process also involved the use of liquid carbon dioxide which is also a way of capturing carbon dioxide by removing from the atmosphere. So we are on the green path which is sustainable, offsetting the claim by EU and US lobby that the present oil palm practice is not sustainable. Indeed, the oil palm industry is now more sustainable than the European Oilseed lobby - this with the production of fertilizers for its own use (my also sell it to small holders). We are here talking about green hydrogen which is mostly generated by electrolysis of water. Of course the power must come from sustainable means like solar or wind. Can you think of anything that is more sustainable in the planting industry!

Let us all expect a better future for the oil palm industry by looking at ways to improve the marketability in view of the many sanctions by the western entities due to stiff competitions at their home grown oilseed crops. Let us all here also look at oil palm industry from a different perspective so that we can sense the other opportunities offered by the golden oil that was brought to our country many decades ago. Perhaps we should belief that the goose that laid the golden egg never dies but stay to bring it to another golden level. The future is Oil Palm Industry – we may have to look at full automation which in the eyes of the learned a fully achievable agenda.

installing solar panels in oil palm plantations

jump on the netr bandwagon

easy climbing together with netr?

Malaysia has just given its citizen a grand birthday gift in the form of National Energy Transition Roadmap – we would like to call it the best catalyst to survive the competition which most Malaysian SME’s has to face. There is competition from China which is the world’s manufacturing centre. As if not enough, there are a heap of sanctions meted out by the EU and US trade lobbies. There are also the impending sanctions coming our way just because of some nefarious funds going to the Middle East from Malaysia. So sanctions are real, just look at the way the EU is trying to shut out Malaysian derived biodiesel even when the EU is facing an energy crunch! It is therefore imperative that Malaysian enterprises arm themselves with a new look – at least from the technology perspective. But there is another angle that we have to look at, that is the energy perspective which the west is trying to use it as a means to defame us – others should not use fossil fuel when the west is shaping to champion renewable energy – Ukraine as a catalyst.

But truth is that Malaysia is also facing an energy crunch, one which does not seem to look serious from the outside – but we are now importing more gas than ever which should be noted by the general public. This is because all this while Malaysians have believed that we are gas rich since we are exporting a large amount of it but the matter of fact is that we are now having a dwindling supply of gas and we should now look at other forms of energy – the nearest thing is to look up at the sky! And we do have the paraphernalia to tap at the sky. No doubt about that as we are the second largest producer of solar panels in the world – then there is perovskite to make us even harder to be challenged. Fortunately for us, the government went double speed (it took them less than 6 months) to structure the National Energy Transition Roadmap – which will be eagerly seized by the more intelligent of our society to increase their productivity and scope. Just how do you catalyze it then?

Perhaps you might want to see how you can benefit from this once in a lifetime framework? Look no further, here is your passport to leap over others!

Why Malaysia NETR?

What is fundable by the 2 billion ringgit NETR Funding as announced by the prime minister?

Malaysian NETR funding of 2 billion ringgit as announced by the prime minister will first of all will seed fund the development of National Energy Transition Facility. This facility will enable catalytic blended finance to ensure a seamless flow of financial resources towards energy transition projects that are marginally bankable (the bankers do not treat green projects as bankable previous to this) or yielding below-market returns (which is another way of saying that the gestation period is too long). Also new is a renewable energy exchange which will help coalesce the government bodies with the SMEs – thus there will be an opportunity for the small scale enterprise to bid for joint ventures with government bodies with the government funding the activities.

To see where are the activities that will most likely be funded by the NETR funding click here