Open up power grid access to boost renewable energy investment

Perikatan Nasional (PN) needs to align post Covid-19 economic recovery towards renewable energy (RE) to battle the ongoing combat climate crisis.

The electricity sector is one of the main greenhouse gas producers as 50% of TNB’s electricity is produced from coal. PN needs to open third-party access (TPA) to the power grid to boost RE investment.

The present electricity trend with regard to RE is known as ‘prosumer’ where the consumer produces their own electricity through RE. However, Malaysia only allows net energy metering (NEM) where the point of electricity generation must be at the point of consumption. This limits the investment and expansion potential of RE.

Opening up the power grid allows an entity to produce its electricity needs elsewhere and transport it to the required consumption site. In exchange TNB could collect a transmission fee for the use of the power grid.

For example, Sime Darby could produce electricity from its palm oil waste at its plantations in rural areas to power its automotive showroom and corporate office in Subang Jaya. Franchise operators like QSR Bhd could purchase agriculture waste from farmers in Kelantan to generate electricity from biomass its 1000+ KFC & Pizza Hut restaurants.

Besides, domestic consumers could produce their own electricity from their home rooftop solar panels to recharge their plug-in hybrid or electric vechicles at any charging station, or power their parents’ home.

Under Incentive Based Regulation (IBR-RP2), the pro-rated transmission fee is RM0.124 per kWh. This will represent a saving of between 43% to 75% compared to the existing tariff structure. Malaysia will benefit greatly by reducing fossil fuel imports and creating new green jobs. RE investment under TPA tends to focus more in rural areas which will uplift rural communities.

Liberal economists will argue that it is better to break apart the TNB monopoly into multiple private hands. In reality, a singular large transmission grid is more efficient, stable and cheaper from an engineering perspective.

SHARAN RAJ
Central Committee
Environmental & Climate Crisis Bureau
Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM)
&
State Chairperson
Parti Sosialis Malaysia Negeri Melaka (PSM Melaka)

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