Should Malaysia’s renewable energy target be more ambitious?

Posted on December 31, 2011. Filed under: Energy |

-The Star-by Leong Hung Yee, writer

Yes.

WE should have a more ambitious long-term renewable energy (RE) target. After all, Malaysia is blessed with natural resources, especially sunlight.

Malaysia plans to achieve 985 MW of RE, or a 5.5% share of the energy mix, by 2015. Currently, RE contributes less than 1%. The target by 2020 is for RE to make up 11% of the country’s electricity generation.

Based on the number of RE projects awarded by the Sustainable Energy Development Authority (Seda) to date, we are on track to achieving the 11% target. Perhaps, the target is modest in comparison with the targets and achievements of other countries.

We may not be able to beat Germany (the current No. 1 in the solar market) in the near future but we should at least aim higher say, 10% of electricity generation to come from solar, given that we have sunshine all year round and it’s free. Also, we have much waste that can produce biomass energy.

Malaysia aims for 25% usage of RE by 2050. By then, several other countries would be in the 60% to 70% range.

Our Government has indicated it is open to raising quotas to generate RE if consumers are willing to pay another 1% RE levy on top of the current 1% in electricity bills.

In the long term, as Malaysia produces and consumes more RE, it can better control its fuel imports and would be less affected by the changes in prices. Thus, we can become more energy independent. On top of that, more RE will also help reduce carbon dioxide emissions and create a greener environment for generations to come

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