Can this be one of the solution for power hungry Europe one day? Photo by NPJB

Malaysia is tinkering with the idea of building it first ever nuclear power plant as oil prices soaring high.

“We are looking at about US$3.1 billion for a 1,000 MW plant,” Mohamad Zam Zam Jaafar, head of Tenaga’s nuclear energy taskforce, was quoted as saying by the Edge financial daily newspaper.

However do Malaysia really need a nuclear power plant yet. In recent debate with Shabery the Minister of Information Anwar said Malaysia has ‘excess capacity’ as high as 45 percent? Government could have save at least RM2 billion of public fund if they can reduce the ‘unnecessary reserve’ by half argued Anwar!

On the other part of the world, yet another ambitious project “harvesting the hot Saharan sun” solar power potential. The Times Online says the project, estimated to cost up to £35.7 billion, is backed by Gordon Brown and President Sarkozy of France.

The project is still at an early stage and faces daunting financial and technological obstacles. Solar power’s supporters say it will take ten years for it to become economically competitive, and while undersea cables to Sicily and Spain are planned for construction in 2010-2012, it is not known how they will be financed.

The EU last year set a mandatory target of producing 20 per cent of its energy consumption from renewable sources by 2020, and there are also big political imperatives in play.