Malaysia can generate more electricity if all roofs use solar panels, says Yeo


 

PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia can generate 1.4 times more electricity if all the roofs in Peninsular Malaysia are fitted with solar panels, compared with the conventional electricity generation of fossil fuel burning.

Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Minister Yeo Bee Yin said there are over 4.12 million buildings with solar rooftop potential in the peninsula.

If all these buildings are fitted with solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, it can generate a whopping 34,194 megawatt (MW) of electricity at any one time, she said.

In comparison, the current total electricity production in Malaysia is an average of 24,000 MW at any one time.

"If we equip our roofs with solar, we can potentially produce more than the total electricity generated in Malaysia," Yeo said at the Sustainable Energy Development Authority (SEDA) office here on Tuesday (May 14).

Currently, only 2% of Malaysia's electricity is generated by renewable energy sources, as the nation's energy generation is still highly dependent on limited fossil fuel resources such as oil, coal or natural gas.

In the race to increase the nation's renewable energy mix from 2% to 20% by 2030, the Ministry is targeting commercial and industrial buildings to go solar and be early adopters of the revised Net Energy Metering (NEM) scheme.

Yeo said the NEM offers those who opt for solar energy lower tariffs, tax incentives, solar leasing programmes, and reduced electricity bills through the one-on-one offset, where every 1kWh exported to the grid will be offset against 1kWh consumed from the grid.

Yeo said the Ministry has allocated a 2019 NEM quota of 500 MW, with 450 MW allocated for commercial and industrial buildings, and the remaining 50 MW for residential buildings.

She said the revised NEM scheme has seen a positive response as there was an increase in NEM take-up rate this year.

"As of May 2019, a total of 16.6 MW of NEM has been approved in the first four months of 2019, compared with approved capacity of 18.24 MW in 2018," she said.

Yeo made the comments during the launch of the NEM calculator available on the SEDA website.

With the calculator, SMEs and residents can calculate the potential monthly savings from generating solar energy, the upfront cost needed, the simple payback period, and the environmental impact.

The SEDA website also has a directory of 110 registered solar PV service providers and 27 solar PV investors who will carry out the solar leasing programmes.

Those who wish to purchase solar PV systems can contact PV service providers for a quotation while those who prefer to lease it, or pay only for the electricity generated by the systems through the power purchase agreement, can contact solar PV investors.

Yeo said the government, through the Malaysian Investment Development Authority, is also offering SMEs a green investment tax allowance and income tax exemption for the purchase of solar PV systems.


   

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