S'wak to encourage more solar power usage in commitment to renewable energy

KUCHING: Sarawak is encouraging more solar power usage in line with the state government's commitment to renewable energy, says state Utility and Telecommunication Minister Datuk Seri Julaihi Narawi.

He said the state is rolling out the net energy metering (NEM) scheme administered by Sarawak Energy Bhd to promote the use of renewable energy and conserve non-renewable energy.

The NEM scheme is a utility billing mechanism that credits solar photovoltaic system home owners for the electricity they add to the state grid.

"Based on a report by Sarawak Energy in 2021, there are 617,255 domestic customer accounts with a potential renewable energy generation of 2GW,” said Julaihi.

"Even though my ministry has not set a target for NEM adoption, we aspire to be in line with Sabah and Peninsular Malaysia with their penetration rate of 2.4% and 1.1% respectively, based on the Malaysian Energy Commission's 2020 report," he added on Wednesday (Nov 8).

He was speaking at the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between Sarawakian developer Hornbill Networks Consortium Sdn Bhd, Vestech Energy Sdn Bhd and Alliance Bank Malaysia Bhd for solar-ready homes.

Julaihi said renewable energy is one of seven key enablers in Sarawak's post-Covid development strategy (PCDS) to support the development of six economic sectors towards achieving high-income status by 2030.

"With solar energy part of the renewable energy mix, it is envisioned that it will be one of the main drivers for clean energy in Sarawak and also aligns with the state government's commitment to reduce 800,000 tonnes of carbon emissions by 2030," he said.

As such, he said the MOU was a step in the right direction to help Sarawak meet its economic goals under PCDS and reduce its carbon footprint.

He also called on more developers to follow suit and provide solar-ready homes in the near future.

The MOU aims to provide solar panels for 28 units of smart homes to be built by Hornbill Networks Consortium at its Samariang Avenue Phase 2 project at Jalan Bakti here.

It will be equipped with five solar panels with an energy output of 3.3kWp (kilowatts peak) under the NEM scheme, estimated to provide monthly savings of up to RM200 per household.

"This initiative offers homeowners long-term savings on electricity while enabling them to play an active role in reducing their carbon footprint," Hornbill Networks Consortium chief executive officer Hanizam Hashim said.

He said the company also planned to launch another 500 houses with public electric vehicle charging facilities by 2025 as part of the development, in support of Sarawak's carbon emissions reduction goal.

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