Current Affairs

The government should allow renewable energy (RE) export to Singapore to attract more investment and create more green jobs.

  1. Malaysia had been proactively engaged with Singapore on RE export to the country from the end of 2018 until Sheraton Move happened.
  2. In fact, RE trading was included in the agenda of almost every of my bilateral discussions with my Singaporean counterpart when I was in office.
  3. We anticipated then that Singapore would need more RE in their electricity mix, due to the trend of increasing number of multinational companies making commitment towards carbon neutrality and many of them have their regional headquarters in Singapore. As for us, we were keen to export RE as it would be another growth area for the green economy and green jobs.
  4. As anticipated, on 25 October 2021, the Singapore Government announced that it will import up to 4 GW of low-carbon RE by 2035.
  5. This is a potential export market that if captured fully, will be able to attract RM 6 billion in private investment and create around 50,000 jobs in Malaysia.
  6. Of course, Malaysia will probably not be able to “eat the whole pie” but since Malaysia is geographically close to Singapore, I believe that we will be able to capture a healthy piece of the pie.
  7. However, out of the sudden, the Malaysian government announced a ban on RE export in October 2021.
  8. I asked in the parliament for the reason to the ban. The reply was that RE export (including the carbon credits that come with the exported RE) will hinder Malaysia from fulfilling our carbon reduction target, i.e. National Determined Commitment (NDC), in the Paris Agreement.
  9. This is mathematically flawed. Overall, in Malaysia, the untapped potential of solar, bioenergy and small hydropower is 269 GW, 3.6 GW and 2.5 GW. To put things into perspective, our national total installed power generation capacity as of 2020 is only 34.6 GW – comprising 27.2 GW for Peninsular Malaysia, 5.7 GW for Sarawak and 1.7 GW for Sabah. The untapped potential of RE can power up more than 8 Malaysia!
  10. In short, Malaysia is able to fulfil our NDC and export a considerable amount of RE at the same time.
  11. Singapore Energy Market Authority (EMA) has issued the first Request for Proposal (RFP) on 12 November 2021, for the import of up to 1.2 GW of electricity. The deadline for RFP submission is on 14 June 2022. Our RE players will likely miss this round.
  12. As for the second RFP, it will be open this quarter.
  13. I call upon the government to reverse the decision to ban RE export so that Malaysia-based RE players can also participate in the second RFP.
  14. Upon winning the bid, RE players, either foreign or local, will build RE plants in Malaysia and export the electricity to Singapore. This will lead to greater green investment in Malaysia and generating more green jobs, such as engineers, technicians, analysts etc.
  15. Recently, I see the Prime Minister and many cabinet ministers going around the world in the name of attracting investment to the country.
  16. I hope they realize that there is one very low hanging fruit, lying at our doorstep, waiting to be picked.
  17. If the government needs help in terms of driving the technical and regulatory change needed to allow RE export, I am more than happy to help.

Yeo Bee Yin

MP for Bakri

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