Cancel large scale solar project-prioritise rooftop solar instead

Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) has periodically raised the issue of insufficient rooftop solar quota (NEM) because the government continues to underestimate the adoption rate1. The government had projected that the 300MW solar quota for the commercial sector would last for three years. Meanwhile, PSM projected that it would be exhausted within months2.

PSM’s projection turned out to be correct as the commercial sector filled the 300MW rooftop solar quota in just 3 months3. The non-residential sectors make up 95% of all rooftop solar demand in the peninsula4.

The peninsula can only accept solar power of not more than 25% of the weekend peak demand, which is equivalent to 4,000MW.

ProgramStatusCapacity (MW)
LSS 1 5Utilised370.00
LSS 2 6Utilised487.12
LSS 3 7Utilised490.88
LSS 4 8Allocated832.06
NEM 1.0 9Utilised27.80
NEM 2.0 10Utilised469.30
NEM 3.0 11Ongoing500.00
ReserveUnallocated822.84
Total (MW)4,000.00

On 12th March 2021, the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources (KeTSA) had allocated another 832.06MW for the Large Scale Solar 4 project (LSS 4) which is totally unnecessary as solar adoption had reached a self-sustainable adoption rate. This big solar project is merely a rent-seeking business, similar to the fossil fuel independent power plants (IPPs).

KeTSA should cancel the LSS 4 and reallocate the reserve quota for commercial rooftop solar projects. If this is done, the refreshed commercial rooftop solar quota would be 1,654.9MW which will last for another year.

Rooftop solar offers businesses the opportunity to lower their respective operation costs and direct carbon footprint long-term. Rooftop solar reduces peak electricity demand which increases the lifespan of the existing electricity grid.

KeTSA also needs to introduce a Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) with Smart Electricity Grid by 2022. This will allow the peninsula to double the acceptable solar penetration from 4,000MW in 2022 to 8,000MW in 2025.

Malaysia will save about RM200 million per annum from fuel imports for each 1,000MW in rooftop solar installations12. The financial benefit further increases when we take into account the increased lifespan of the electricity grid and the savings from decommissioning expensive fossil fuel power plants.

We urge KeTSA to cancel the quota for LSS4 and reallocate it to boost the exhausted rooftop solar quota for the commercial sector. We also urge KeTSA to shift its focus to introducing a Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) by 2022.

SHARAN RAJ
National Coordinator
Bureau for Environment & Climate Crisis (BASKI)

Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM)
&
State Secretary
Parti Sosialis Malaysia Malacca

1 https://www.malaysiakini.com/letters/574700

2 http://focusmalaysia.my/psm-increase-nem-3-0-quota-to-1800mw-current-target-too-low/

3 https://services.seda.gov.my/nem/quota/dashboard

4 Sustainable Energy Malaysia | Volume 4 Issue 10. Pg 31

5 https://www.mida.gov.my/mida-news/ministry-to-offer-1000mw-solar-quota-under-email-protected-programme/

6https://www.st.gov.my/en/contents/article/industry/2017/LSS/Announcement_of_Shortlisted_Bidder_For_The_Development_LSSPV_Plants_2019-2020.pdf

7https://www.st.gov.my/contents/2019/LSS/Announcement%20of%20Shortlisted%20Bidder%20for%20the%20Development%20of%20Large%20Scale%20So….pdf

8https://www.st.gov.my/contents/2021/LSS/Announcement%20of%20the%20Selected%20Shortlisted%20Bidders%20for%20LSS%40MEnTARI.pdf

9 Sustainable Energy Malaysia | Volume 4 Issue 10. Pg 30-31

10 Sustainable Energy Malaysia | Volume 4 Issue 10. Pg 30-31

11 http://www.seda.gov.my/reportal/nem/

12 https://focusmalaysia.my/malaysias-solar-pv-industry-poised-for-robust-growth-trajectory/

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