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Malaysian solar tech industry poised for growth

An expert noted that while a lower bid price for developers suggests that the scope for any margin of error, such as project implementation delays, could adversely hit project economics, it was emphasised that Malaysia has a relatively favourable investment environment with low political, economic and operating risks compared to regional peers.

Earlier this month, solar prices dropped to a record low, around the US$40/MWh mark in the third round of the country’s large-scale solar programme.

A report published by the Singapore-based firm forecasts that Malaysia’s solar capacity will double from 438MW installed in 2018 to 966MW within ten years.

The prospect of “solar projects remain positive and point to scope for accelerating growth in the market over the coming years.

The country’s high irradiation levels, its established domestic solar manufacturing sector, and the government’s plan to launch more large-scale solar tenders after the last rounds were significantly oversubscribed will all contribute to growth, according to the report.

It notes that a government push to improve the competitive landscape for the power sector will also create a more favourable investment environment, giving greater scope for renewables growth when more capacity is procured.

A reform of the Malaysian electricity retail market industry will launch in late 2019, and state-owned energy company Tenaga Nasional Berhad will be restructured by the third quarter of 2020.

The increasing liberalisation bodes well for private investments and could improve competition and investments in the sector.

According to an earlier OpenGov report, Malaysia will reportedly continue to advocate and strengthen maritime and oceanographic research for the sustainable South China Sea as many nations sharing the sea depend on its living and non-living natural resources for food, trade, transport, tourism and security.

The Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Ministry’s deputy secretary-general (Science, Technology and Innova­tion) stated this in his speech at the opening of the 3rd South China Sea Conference 2019 (SCS2019) held in Malaysia.

Unfortunately, the South China Sea is facing a plethora of threats from climate change, pollution and over-exploitation of its resources, including modifications of coastal and natural marine environments.

To help remedy this, the ministry will play its role in ensuring environmental sustainability which is pollution-free and resistant to the threats of climate change.

Thus, in working towards a blue economy, it was crucial that sustainable economic development is balanced with the conservation and safeguarding of marine resources and the environment.

The Strait of Malacca is the second busiest strait in the world. Geographically, it is located at the most important transport and biodiversity route. Maintaining its safety is tantamount to preserving the trade route.

In addition to this, waste management in the Malaysian state of Sabah will go hi-tech. All landfills in Sabah will use cell technology and leachate treatment methods under an RM130 million allocation to improve and enhance solid waste management in the state.

The allocation will be used to upgrade the existing Kayu Madang landfill which will cost RM40 million, and to construct two new regional landfills in Tawau and Beaufort. Each construction costs RM45 million.

Secretary-general to the Housing and Local Government said the regional landfill in Tawau was scheduled to be completed in October. It has a capacity of 250 tonnes per day.

Moreover, the upgrading of the new cell structure for the Kayu Madang landfill has been approved; construction is expected to commence later this year.

Altogether these measures, alongside the projected growth of the solar industry, make it evident that Malaysia is working to prove its commitment to the switch to green tech and sustainability.

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