Failed solar energy providers to be axed

We will announce the contracts that will be cancelled, together with an updated quota availability, says minister

by AFIQ AZIZ / pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

NON-PERFORMING companies that have been granted a quota to produce the feed-in tariff (FiT) solar energy, along with those that failed to commercialise the project within a stipulated time, will be axed.

Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Minister Yeo Bee Yin said the quota will be released to other industry players that have the credentials to carry out the job.

She said the ministry is deliberating on the matter and will share the findings with the public soon.

“We will announce the contracts that will be cancelled, together with an updated quota availability, as well as the re-balloting process for the qualified firms,” she told reporters at the Solar Energy Symposium organised by The Malaysian-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Yeo, however, did not elaborate on the timeframe and the number of companies that will be involved in the cancellations and reappointments.

Responding to queries on huge solar energy contracts that were granted by the previous Barisan Nasional administration and failed to materialise, Yeo said some of the companies awarded were not able to implement the projects due to their debt problems.

The FiT policy, regulated by Sustainable Energy Development Authority Malaysia (Seda), came into place in 2011.

It is a mechanism that allows renewable energy producers to sell the electricity generated to the power utilities at a premium price for a certain period.

The FiT quota registration was then closed in 2016.

According to reports, the total installed capacity for solar photovoltaics (PVs) in Malaysia stands at 357MW, which is approximately 1.3% of the total installed energy capacity of 27,000MW, as of January this year.

It is estimated that a sum of RM11.2 billion was forked out from the government coffers to subsidise the whole project, with about 27,000 employments created.

However, solar PV players had been complaining about the shortage of the FiT quota for solar PVs.

As of 2014, 132 PV service providers were registered with Seda.