Renewables Booming In Malaysia

Country Overview

The Southeast Asian country of the Federation of Malaya (Malaysia) has land and maritime borders with Thailand, Brunei, and Indonesia, and maritime borders with Singapore, Philippines, and Vietnam. The population of Malaysia is approximately 34.50 million people.

In 2022, Malaysia’s economy was ranked 36th in the world in gross domestic product (GDP). The country’s economy is dependent on the export of integrated circuits, refined petroleum, palm oil, rubber apparel, natural gas, oscilloscopes, vegetable oils, copper powder, and platinum clad metals.

Environmental Policies

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 2023, the government established the targets in the Malaysia Renewable Energy Roadmap of renewable energy providing 31% of the nation’s energy by 2025 and 40% by 2035.

Power Generation Capabilities

In 2021, 100% of the people in Malaysia had access to electricity. In 2022, utilities used coal (42.2%),natural gas (37.7%), renewable energy (19.1%), and refined petroleum (1.0%) 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:

  • 10,000 MW Renewable Energy Projects – In December 2023, the Malaysian Investment Development Authority signed an agreement with United Arab Emirate (UAE) company, Masdar to develop utility scale solar, wind, and battery energy storage systems (BESS) across the country.
  • 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. The project is forecast to be commissioned in 2026.
  • 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.
  • 84 MW Hydropower Project – Malaysian power company, RP Hydro is continuing work on the Kelantan Hydropower project located in the state of Kelantan, Malaysia. The project is forecast to be commissioned in 2027.
  • 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. The project is forecast to be commissioned by year-end 2024.
  • 30 MW Solar Project – In December 2023, Malaysian engineering firm, KBJ Hecmy commissioned a solar project in the Perlis state of Peninsular, Malaysia.

Conclusions

Commercial oil was first discovered in Malaysia in 1910. In 2022, Malaysia was the 10th largest natural gas exporting country in the world.

Although Malaysia was a net exporter of natural gas, the nation imports crude oil and coal for transport and power generation. In 2021, Malaysia imported U.S. $18.7 Billion of refined petroleum, U.S. $4.92 Billion of crude oil, and U.S. $4.36 Billion of coal.

In 24 February 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine, prompting the European Union, United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand to place economic sanctions on Russian imports and exports. As a result, the crude oil and natural gas prices increased by over 50% from May 2021 to May 2022.

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 fossil fuel imports of refined petroleum, crude oil, and coal.

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. Malaysia is accelerating the move to renewable energy to reduce the cost of expensive fossil fuel imports.

Jack Kerfoot

Website – “Our Energy Conundrum”

www.jack kerfoot.com

 

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, podcast, and television stations from New York City to Los Angeles on a diverse range of energy issues.

 

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