Malaysia has 3.2 million residential houses with solar rooftop potential
By adopting renewable energy such as solar PV, consumers will get more affordable and predictable costs of their energy usage. However, there is still a lack of participation in solar PV deployment, especially for residential houses.
In conjunction with ENGINEER 2021, Malaysia’s 1st engineering exhibition and conference, the Institution of Engineers Malaysia (IEM) and CIS Network Sdn Bhd organised an Engineer Power Talk session to discuss the monetisation of the renewable energy deployment.
In the session, the speakers highlighted the benefits of solar PV and Malaysia’s energy transition.
The session was moderated by Ir Francis Xavier Jacob, an advisor at the Electrical Engineering Technical Division of IEM. It featured speakers Ahmad Shadzi Abdul Wahab, Michael Leong and Akmal Zyti Yahya.
Slow progress in solar PV adoption
Ahmad, the Managing Director of Intelligent Power System Technology Sdn Bhd and the advisor for the Malaysian Photovoltaic Industry Association (MPIA), proposed the country goes for mass adoption of solar PV.
He then shared a graph showing the new capacity projection. He stated that fossil fuel would return to Malaysia’s energy mix from 2029 onwards despite the government’s commitment to renewable energy.
“It looks like we’re not going to avoid coal and gas anytime soon,” said Ahmad, further sharing that solar PV has started to show its impact on the national daily load profile.
Ahmad quoted a study conducted by MPIA that Malaysia had 3.2 million residential houses with solar rooftop potential. Still, less than one per cent of these rooftops are installed with solar PV.
In tackling the slow progress of rooftop solar adoption, Ahmad said MPIA had come up with several initiatives such as proposing the ‘Merakyatkan Teknologi Hijau’ programme and aiming to have at least one million solar rooftops by 2030.
MPIA also suggested that the government allocate one to two per cent of the loan portfolio issued by Bank Negara Malaysia for the solar sector. The programme could potentially provide up to 3 GW of electricity, 60,000 job opportunities, and bring in RM12 to 15 billion of total investment.
Ahmad then shared a few options in the way forward for the sector, which included Peer-to-Peer (P2P), Third Party Access (TPA), mass adoption of rooftop solar with battery storage options for self-consumption (SELCO).
“SELCO is the easiest (option) and least troublesome because it does not interfere directly with the interconnection problem or issues related to the Securities Commission (SC) and TNB.”
ESG aspects in energy efficiency and renewable energy
Leong, the Founder and Managing Director of TERA VA Sdn Bhd, then discussed environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) aspects centred around the energy sector.
In terms of corporate governance, he said companies could be in control of their electricity cost.
Leong explained: “Through renewable energy and your own distributed generation, you can generate your electricity where that portion of energy that you generate for your consumption will no longer be subject to all future price increases.
“You’re also able to enjoy corporate tax benefits from the solar system itself.”
He pointed out the Capital Allowance (CA) and Investment Tax Allowance (ITA), which the consumers could get from the solar adoption.
Leong highlighted the initiative brought many benefits to businesses regardless of the company size classifications.
“As long as you invest in solar, you’re generating your electricity.”
Malaysia’s renewable energy scenario
Akmal, the Deputy Director for the Strategic Planning Division of SEDA Malaysia, shared with the audience the progress of Malaysia’s energy transition.
She mentioned the introduction of the Feed-in-Tariff scheme, Large Scale Solar (LSS) projects, Nett Energy Metering (NEM) scheme, and SELCO’s contribution to the energy transition’s significant growth.
“But, please bear in mind, as much as renewable energy has more potential to be deployed, a cautious approach is necessary to strike a good balance between the elements in the energy trilemma.”
She stated the efforts to decarbonise the power sector were supported by four primary perspectives – renewable energy, energy efficiency, low carbon cities, and training.
She highlighted that sustainable energy comprised renewable energy from the supply side and energy efficiency from the demand side.
“In the past few years, we implemented several programmes for energy efficiency. The first one is the Green Pass certification which is mainly to facilitate the development of green buildings.
“We also have a BEDOS system to monitor our daily and monthly usage of energy. From there, we can take the necessary actions to reduce carbon emissions,” said Akmal before explaining the SAVE 2.0 programme and Energy Audit Conditional Grant were introduced to drive energy efficiency in the country.
“SEDA Malaysia has been playing a vital role as a consultant in guiding the urban development towards low carbon cities,” added Akmal.
She then highlighted the importance of capacity building in the decarbonisation efforts and shared SEDA’s role in providing related training.
“Energy transition phase has been identified as one of the main economic recovery post-pandemic. To realise our target, which is 31 per cent by 2025, we anticipate a cumulative investment of RM20 billion to be funded into the nation.
“This transition will open up more opportunities in employment with more than 30,000 job creations,” Akmal pointed out.
She also shared the country was pursuing the circular solar economy and exploring the possibility of managing the solar assets’ end of life. — @Green