Malaysia's renewable energy industry on the right track -- Plus Solar

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 6 -- Clean energy solutions company, Plus Solar Systems Sdn Bhd believes that government policies, digitalisation and smart grid initiatives will act as growth catalysts in the Malaysian renewable energy (RE) industry.

Plus Solar chief executive officer and co-founder Ko Chuan Zhen said the government has recognised solar energy generation as a key contributor towards the national 20 per cent RE goal by 2025 with the announcement of the Net Energy Metering (NEM) 3.0 programme last week.

“The NEM 3.0 programme provides an opportunity for more users to install the solar photovoltaic (PV) systems on the roof of their respective buildings or homes for electricity bill reduction.

"Through the programme, end-users in the industrial and commercial sectors have seen significant savings, and this will continue to drive up the trend for clean energy," he said in a statement today.

Ko noted that Budget 2021 highlighted sustainable energy initiatives that are consistent with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, and these initiatives would place Malaysia in the right frontier alongside leading nations.

"Industry experts have singled out the one gigawatt (GW) solar development tender by the Energy Commission, expecting it to unlock RM4 billion in investments and create an estimated 12,000 new jobs.

“Solar farms have been our focus area as the company has successfully completed projects with a total capacity of 100-megawatt peak (MWp) under the government’s large-scale solar projects programme," he said.

These government initiatives provide opportunities for local players and aim to stimulate the country's RE industry in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, he added.

"Worldwide, business owners are asking if more can be done to lower energy costs beyond simple solar setups.

“With this, we foresee the digitalisation of energy to be a trend adopted across commercial and industrial buildings in Malaysia," Ko said.

He noted that one of the major strains faced by businesses is managing operating expenses under financial pressures while having to optimise energy consumption.

A recent survey by audit firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers showed that 71 per cent of Malaysian businesses attempted to reduce operating expenses to survive pandemic challenges.

Meanwhile, Ko said with time and continued clean energy adoption, smart energy grids will form.

A smart grid is an electricity network which enables a two-way flow of electricity and data with digital communications technology, which can detect, react and proact to changes in usage and multiple issues.

The progress can be seen in Tenaga Nasional Bhd’s RM2.7 billion investment into the “Grid of the Future” technologies that would place smart meters in Melaka and the Klang Valley, he said.

Another example is Petroliam Nasional Bhd’s newly launched solar energy and installation service firm, which includes battery storage among its fleet of offerings for commercial and industrial customers. 

"Efforts ranging from government initiatives and policies to energy efficiency and battery storage are all steps in the right direction as we pursue cleaner, greener energy for a better Malaysia.

"With the attractive Green Investment Tax Allowance by the Malaysian Investment Development Authority and NEM 3.0 in place till 2023, people will begin to realise that solar energy is no longer a luxury but an affordable essential,” Ko said.

Industry players such as solar energy solution providers, policymakers, financial institutions and investors all have an important role in making this a reality, towards a vibrant RE ecosystem for Malaysia, he added.




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