Cover Story, Weekly Highlights

PN must take advantage of the huge potential of solar energy in Malaysia.

Government should offer new 500 MW Net Energy Metering (NEM) quota to continue the momentum of growth of rooftop solar industry, which can potentially create more than 15,000 green jobs.

With the price of solar generation continues to drop, there is huge potential of rooftop solar in Malaysia as there are 3.2 million residential properties, 450,000 commercial lots, 90,000 terraced factories, 21,000 standalone factories, and 1,000 shopping complexes in Malaysia. Net Energy Metering (NEM) policy can unlock such potential.  Under NEM, those who install rooftop solar can sell their additional solar power back to TNB and with that, save their electricity bills.

NEM began in 2016 and was given a quota of 500 MW for the year 2016 to 2020. However until 2018, the take-up rate was very low, at only around 15 MW, because the selling price was at low displacement cost. However in October 2018, we launched NEM 2.0, of which the selling rate changed to 1-on-1 offset basis, allowing the prosumers (producing consumers) to get significant savings in their monthly electricity bill; we also changed Supply Agreement of Renewable Energy (SARE) policy to enable solar leasing for premise owners with no sufficient capital expenditure (CAPEX).  Since the change of policy, we see encouraging NEM uptake rate of more than 20 times than the previous take-up rate until all the 500 NEM quota allocated for 2016-2020 is fully taken up now.

The solar industry is gaining good momentum. That’s why the whole solar industry is waiting for Putrajaya to make a decision on whether the policy will be continued next year and if yes, how much will the new quota be. It sends a wrong signal to investors if Putrajaya continues to dilly dally in their decision making process.

“I hope that Putrajaya will not drag further and give certainty to the solar industry so that they can make necessary preparation for next year.” – Yeo Bee Yin

It is especially important in this economic climate, of which economic activities and jobs creation is very important. Every MW of rooftop solar can potentially create 32.86 jobs (which is much bigger than coal and gas at only 11.34 and 1.44 total employment generated respectively). A new 500 MW NEM quota can generate more than 15,000 green jobs. More engineers, electricians, other related technicians etc can have a decent jobs with this new quota. 

Therefore, I called upon the government to offer another 500MW of NEM quota starting next year in the parliament on Wednesday (2 December 2020).

I hope that Putrajaya will not drag further and give certainty to the solar industry so that they can make necessary preparation for next year.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *