Thursday, October 1, 2009


It was not a pleasant evening for many people in Brunei two evenings ago, when a problem occured at the Gadong Power Plant, which resulted in black-outs in many parts of Brunei-Muara, Belait and Tutong districts. It was even worse for some places when the black-outs occurred again in the next two evenings, though I was not too sure if they were related or not.

It would be very easy to point our fingers to the Department of Electrical Services. It would be very easy to blame the department for the black-outs that we had to endure. But as with anything mechanical, failures could happen and they did. Working in a place where machinery was an integral part of our operation taught me that no matter how much we prepared and how much maintenance we did, machines could fail. And they had the knack of failing at the most inconvenient of times.

Rather than blaming the Department of Eletrical Services for the black-outs, spare some moments to think about the burdens we are putting on our power plants. Brunei was named as one of the biggest users of electricity, but it was not a country which heavily depended on mega industries. Yet, we were consuming energy as much as those industrialised country such as Japan and China. We are putting extra strain on the system, especially during the Raya period.

Think also about the amount of gas that we unnecessary use to generate electricity to power those air-con units in the other rooms that are unoccupied, those hot water boilers in the bathrooms that are switched on all day long, those computers that lie idle in the rooms or those tv sets that remain unwatched. Gas will eventually be gone. And do not put too much hope on solar power. According to the big boss of Shell, solar power will only account to a tiny percentage of energy supply in the future.

So please save energy. Think Earth, think the future.

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