Proton wins National Energy Award for renewable energy initiative

Factories utilise a lot of electrical energy for their operations and in this era of fighting climate change to reduce greenhouse gases, companies are expected to reduce their consumption of electricity from traditional sources, This is because much of the electricity is generated by coal-powered plants which themselves have emissions.

In fact, France is one of the countries which has imposed stricter conditions for providing subsidies for electric vehicles. The eligibility criteria includes the CO2 generated in the manufacturing process for the EVs. The government believes this is one way to make carmakers do more for the reduction of greenhouse gases.

Proton factory
Manufacturing processes such as welding bodyshells require a lot of electricity so using renewable energy from sunshine can save Proton a lot of money.

Malaysia does not yet have such tough conditions and the government allows all fully electric vehicles to be imported and sold duty-free.

Green initiatives since 2015
Nevertheless, Proton has, since 2015, made efforts to reduce its carbon footprint, starting with the PROTON Green Wheel and Green Initiatives. These consist of 5 phases, ranging from implementing Energy Management System, Energy Efficiency measures, Waste and Water Management to renewable energy and digitalising energy data. These initiatives have helped to save RM20 million or equivalent to 55,000 MWh savings and over 40,000 tonnes of CO2. emissions.

Proton factory

Using renewable energy from sunshine
Three years ago, Proton made a big investment in installing solar panels at its factory in Tg. Malim, Perak, to reduce dependence on the national electricity supply, Since commissioning in May 2021 to Jan 2024, the bi-facial solar panels that generate energy from direct sunlight as well as reflected sunlight, together with the solar panels on the factory roof, have reduced the plant CO2 emissions by 32,406 tonnes.

This is higher than its initial forecast target of 11,536 tonnes per year. The reduction is equivalent to offsetting by 893,000 trees, benefitting the community and ecosystem immensely in Tanjung Malim. To date, the adoption of renewable energy has generated 45.78 GWh and reduced the facility’s electricity cost by 11% in 2023 with savings of more than RM10 million since its commissioning.

Proton factory

National Energy Awards
The achievement has won Proton the top spot of the Renewable Energy category under the on-grid (National Grid) segment in the National Energy Awards (NEA) 2023. The awards recognise organisations that adopt sustainable energy concepts and practices that are in line with the country’s goal to becoming net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

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“Proton, as the national automaker, has led and proven our commitment to protect the environment and we encourage other automotive manufacturers as well as the whole supply chain to take up renewable energy in the future,” said Dr. Li Chunrong, CEO of Proton.

Commenting on the award, Dr. Li added: “This honour reinforces our commitment to drive the company forward with more green initiative projects, in line with the country’s goal to becoming a carbon neutral nation by 2050. PROTON is not resting on its laurels after receiving this accolade and we will continue to embolden our efforts in cultivating an ecosystem of green investments.”

Proton factory
The Proton factory complex in Tg. Malim, Perak, which is the core of the Automotive High-Tech Valley.

Proton has formulated a 10-year Energy Roadmap starting from 2020 with projects such as solar photovoltaic system expansion, a battery energy storage system, district cooling system and waste heat recovery in the pipeline, aligning with the country’s goal to cut carbon emissions by 45% in 2025 and 60% in 2035.

13 years ago, Proton was already developing electric vehicles

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