Solar Power Usage In Malaysia Expected To Reach Grid Parity By 2017

Posted on July 29, 2010. Filed under: Energy |

(Bernama) — Solar energy usage in Malaysia is expected to reach grid parity by 2017, said Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister, Datuk Seri Peter Chin Fah Kui.

Chin said grid parity would occur when alternative means of generating electricity, such as solar-powered electricity, reached cost parity with conventional fossil fuel-based electricity provided by the utility companies.

He said the installation of photovoltaic (PV) panels was still costly in Malaysia while the electricity offered by utility companies, Tenaga Nasional Bhd, Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd and Sarawak Electricity Supply Corp, was still lower and cheaper.

“That is one of the reasons why we are so slow in using PV panels. But one day it will be achieved when the production cost of PV panels goes down and the electricity rate goes up.

“We predict that in another seven to eight years from now we will achieve grid parity. By then, more houses will install photovoltaic because it is cheaper to generate electricity,” he told reporters after officiated the “Programme Mentor:1IPTA, 1 Menteri” at Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) here Thursday.

Chin, Natural Resources and Environment Minister, Datuk Seri Douglas Uggah Embas, and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Senator Datuk Seri Idris Jala, are Unimas’ mentors.

He said the introduction of feed-in-tariff (FIT) for renewable energy to enable users to sell excess power to the power grid next year would encourage more installation of PV panels in the country.

“With FIT, users who install PV panels in their house will get better electricity rate,” he said, adding that the return on investment would take 12 to 15 years.

Meanwhile, Chin said his ministry would allocate RM605,000 to Unimas to undertake research and development to find a solution to the problems of electricity supply to the rural off-grid areas in Sabah and Sarawak.

“Currently, about three to five per cent of the rural areas in Sabah and Sarawak are still not getting electricity supply from the utility grid.

“The ministry supports Unimas efforts to carry out the R&D. This will help boost economic and social growth in the rural areas indirectly and would have a positive impact to raise local income,” he said.

Chin said his ministry would give Unimas a RM25,000 grant to enable its students interested in green technology to attend the International Green Tech and Eco Products Conference and Exhibition Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur (IGEM 2010) from Oct 14-17, 2010.

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