In 2022, Malaysia’s economy was ranked 37th in the world in gross domestic product (GDP). The country’s economy is dependent on the export of integrated circuits, refined petroleum, palm oil, semiconductor devices, rubber apparel, hot rolled iron bars, vegetable oils, copper powder, and platinum clad metals.
In 2016, Malaysia signed the Paris Climate Agreement, committing to a 35% reduction in greenhouse gas emission intensity of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2030, relative to the emissions intensity of GDP in 2005 levels.
In 2019, the government increased Malaysia’s target of electricity generation from non-hydropower sources to 20% by 2025.
Power Generation Capabilities
In 2021, utilities used coal (44.4 %),natural gas (36.4 %), renewable energy (18.6 %), and petroleum (0.6 %) to generate electricity in Malaysia. Hydropower is the dominant type of renewable energy used to generate electricity in Malaysia.
Recent renewable energy projects in Malaysia include:
- 150 MW Floating Solar Project – Japanese renewable energy company, Shizen Energy is continuing work on a floating solar project in the state of Melaka, Peninsular Malaysia.
- 116 MW Solar Project – In October 2022, Indian Solar company IB Vogt commissioned the Coara Marang Solar project in the northeast region of Peninsular Malaysia.
- 65 MW Solar Project – In May 2021, Norwegian solar company, Scatec commissioned the Jasin Solar project in the state of Melaka, Peninsular Malaysia.
- 50 MW Floating Solar Project – People’s Republic of China company, Trina Solar is continuing work on a floating solar project at the Batang Ai Hydroelectric Plant in the state of Sarawak.
- 30 MW Solar Project – Malaysian engineering firm, KBJ Hecmy is continuing work on a solar project in the Perlis state, Peninsular, Malaysia. The project is forecast to be commissioned by year-end 2023.
In 2016, the year Malaysia signed the Paris Climate Agreement, the country used fossil fuels (coal, oil, and natural gas) to generate 88.6 % of the nation’s electricity. In 2021, Malaysia used fossil fuels to generate 81.4% of the nation’s electricity.
On 24 February 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine, resulting in the United States, Canada, and the European Union placing embargos on Russian exports. The price for crude oil and natural gas increased by over 50% from May 2021 to May 2022.
In 2019, the Malaysian government increased the national target of electricity generated non-hydropower sources to 20% by 2025. However, Malaysia generated 1.8% of the nation’s electricity from non-hydropower sources by year-end 2021.
Malaysia has significant undeveloped renewable energy resources, including solar, offshore wind, biomass, onshore wind and hydropower. Malaysia’s undeveloped renewable energy resources could easily replace fossil-fueled power plants, saving the nation billions of dollars in expensive imported fuels.
The economics of renewable energy are compelling. Electricity generated from fossil fuels is two to four times more expensive ($/kWh) than wind, solar, or hydropower. The harsh reality is the Malaysian government’s measured move to renewables is costing consumers money.
Website – “Our Energy Conundrum”
Jack Kerfoot is a scientist, energy expert, and author of the book FUELING AMERICA, An Insider’s Journey and articles for The Hill, one of the largest independent political news sites in the United States. He has been interviewed on over 100 radio and television stations from New York City to Los Angeles on numerous energy related topics.
 The World Bank Group, Access to Electricity (% of Population – Malaysia)
 Gross Domestic Product By Country 2022 – Worldometer
 The Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC) – Malaysia
 Carbon Brief “Paris 2015: Tracking Country Climate Pledges”
 Our World In Data, Malaysia: Energy Country Profile by Hanna Ritchie and Max Roser
 Reuters, “Lebanon To Slash Official Exchange Rate” by L. Bassam, T. Azhari, and T. Perry, September 28, 2022
 Trading Economics, “Malaysia Inflation Rate,” November 2022 Data