September 23, 2013 / 5:00 PM / 4 years ago

Malaysia launches $100 mln clean energy fund

* Venture capital fund to finance projects in SE Asia

* GE, TNB agree to collaborate on Malaysian smart grid

LONDON, Sept 23 (Reuters) - Malaysia and Japan-based Asian Energy Investments Pte Ltd. have launched a $100 million venture capital fund to invest in clean energy projects in South East Asia.

Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak announced the launch of the fund on Monday at a meeting of sustainable development experts in San Francisco in the United States.

Malaysian fund management company Putra Eco Ventures Inc. will channel the fund’s investments into small and medium-sized companies and technologies such as wind, solar or tidal energy.

It will also help find cheaper biodiesel feedstocks for Malaysian biodiesel plants which have been idled because they rely on expensive crude palm oil.

“We hope to (..) further transform Malaysia into a knowledge-based, innovation-driven economy that is environmentally friendly while aiming to join the ranks of developed nations,” Prime Minister Razak said.

Separately on Monday, General Electric, Malaysia’s largest utility Tenaga Nasional Berhad and government agency GreenTech Malaysia agreed to collaborate on developing a Malaysian smart grid.

A smart grid is a modernised electricity device which uses information technology to collect data about the energy use of consumers and suppliers to improve the efficiency of electricity production and reduce energy consumption.

Malaysia aims to reduce its carbon emissions by 40 percent by 2020 from 2005 levels and increase its renewable energy capacity to 4,000 megawatts by 2030.

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