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TitleRenewable Energy in Malaysia
Tags Solar Power Solar Energy Energy Development Solar Panel
File Size57.3 KB
Total Pages3
Document Text Contents
Page 1

Renewable E nergy in Malaysia

Known and conventional energy sources are exhausted rapidly due to increasing the

energy consumption. Therefore, alternative and renewable energy sources are very

much important for the future energy demand. Over the past few decades, renewable

energy has become very popular in many countries. Malaysia has a huge potential for

renewable energy generation (Bayar, 2011). Due to its equatorial location, the future

is bright for solar power in Malaysia. Furthermore, solar energy has proven to be

front-runner among the renewables with a market share of 43%, followed by small

hydropower (26%), biomass (26%) and biogas (5%).

The average solar radiation is 400 to 600 MJ/m2 per month in Malaysia. Therefore, it

is promising to establish large scale solar power installations (Mekhilef et. al, 2012)

The most popular way to utilise the solar energy is by capturing sunlight and turning

them into electricity for daily usage using a photovoltaic system that has been applied

in Malaysia in early 1980s. Nowadays, photovoltaic technology grows rapidly

worldwide in both developing and developed nations. Photovoltaic technology is

growing fast due to the awareness of climate change, thinning ozone layer and carbon

emission (Rahim, 2012).

With the new implementation of net energy metering (NEM), solar power users can

now generate and use their own electricity, as well as sell the excess to Tenaga

Nasional Berhad (TNB). This is known as a type of distributed generation allowing

consumers to balance the cost of their electric usage with energy they export to the

grid with solar panels. Furthermore, the Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and

Water (KeTTHA) has approved this implementation, now everyone in Malaysia will

be able to generate electricity for their own consumption, using renewable sources,

knowing they are dong their part in helping the environment.

Malaysia’s increasing presence in the renewables arena is also due to a generous feed-

in tariff (FIT) policy which requires energy providers such as Tenaga Nasional and

Sabah Electricity to purchase power from Feed-In Approval Holders (FIAHs) at a rate

that ranges from RM0.85 to RM1.23 per kilowatt produced. The FIT system is part of

a larger development initiative brought about by the Malaysian government in June

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2010, the 10th Malaysia Plan, which targeted 5.5% of energy production to be derived

from renewable sources by 2015 and targets 11% by 2020.

Due to the fact that renewable energy projects thus far have been developed on a

relatively small scale by diminishing natural gas, it has forced the utilities towards

using more coal in order to meet their immediate needs. Just like any industry in

relative infancy, technological efficiency remains a hot topic of debate among those

for and against solar power production. The amount of energy produced per solar

panel, a maximum of only 33.5% efficiency is on the minds of many looking to invest

in the technology. In comparison to conventional energy sources, the cost of solar

power is also relatively high. Although Malaysia’s feed-in tariff (FIT) policy system

claims to take the high cost of solar panel installations into account when considering

what users eventually see a return on investment, the rates received by the Feed-In

Approval Holders FIAHs are dependent on the date of installation. Those that

installed PV equipment earlier will receive higher rates than those which do so later

on. This is assuming that the price of solar technology will decrease as it becomes

more efficient and widely available.

As for the future of solar energy, many new technologies are being invented to allow

solar energy to become a sustainable form of energy. One of them is the innovative

solar panel roadways. It is simply the way of placing the tar roads with replaceable

solar panels in which tempered glass material are able to withstand the weight of

vehicles. At the same time, electrical cars become a viable option with this technology

because recharging stations can be built where these solar panels are located. Not only

that, it has LED on these panels to illuminate the road at night and warning signs can

be shown on the surface of the roadway. This decreases the amount of traffic

accidents as well as costs for painting traffic signs on the road. Solar paint is also an

interesting prospect. The paint is used to coat the exterior of houses and roofs at low

cost. At the present time, the paint is using roll-to-roll processing techniques to coat

surfaces with the solar cells. However, the efficiency rates of these solar-paint based

cells is not promising. Commercialization seems like a long way to go until the

technology improves. In the future, the paint may be used directly on a roof or

building surface. Since solar paint technology has been invented, this leads to the

creation of flimsy solar panels. These flexible panels are very versatile and are

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