by MARK RAO & AFIQ AZIZ/ pic by TMR FILE
MALAYSIA should increase its export of solar panels, as the country produces good quality photovoltaic (PV) panels, Prime Minister (PM) Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said.
He said Malaysia is one of the largest PV makers globally and has already penetrated the US market.
In 2016, Malaysia emerged as the largest exporter of PV cells and modules to the US, commanding a market share of 25% by value and 30% by capacity.
“Our solar panels are of very good quality. So, we can increase the export of solar panels as we go along.
“This is the direction we have taken and we are committed to it,” he told reporters after launching Petroliam Nasional Bhd’s (Petronas) first solar rooftop solution in the country, namely M+, in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
The launch was held in conjunction with the International Greentech and Eco Products Exhibition and Conference Malaysia (IGEM) 2019.
Also present was Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Minister Yeo Bee Yin.
Dr Mahathir also dismissed allegations of his affiliation with some energy players that had been awarded contracts and funds during his first stint as the PM.
He reiterated that only companies with viable proposals would be supported by the government.
The effort to increase solar panel exports is in tandem with Putrajaya’s vision to have at least 20% of renewable energy (RE) usage by 2025.
M+ by Petronas is a customisable and affordable solar solution designed for both commercial and industrial use.
The affordability of M+ is supported by its customer-centric business model with zero capital expenditure required from customers. This is tailored to meet customers’ needs and enables savings.
Petronas will provide end-to-end delivery of the solar rooftop solution as well as maintenance to ensure that customers only have to pay the tariff charges of their energy usage and are not exposed to any form of technical and financial risks.
Separately at IGEM 2019, Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) inked a supply agreement for RE (SARE) with Ain Medicare Sdn Bhd (AMSB) and TATI University College for the installation of a solar PV system with a capacity of 3,131.5 kilowatt peak (kWp) and 999 kWp respectively.
Through its subsidiary, GSPARX Sdn Bhd, the state-owned utility supplier is expected to install solar panels at AMSB’s pharmaceutical factories in Kota Baru, Kelantan with a capacity of 2,533.5 kWp and in Kulim, Kedah with a capacity of 598 kWp.
Within the 25-year duration of SARE, AMSB will generate 3.315 million kW energy and accumulated savings of RM17.7 million per annum.
At the TATI University College in Terengganu, the solar PV installation is expected to generate 1.306 million kWh of energy annually, potentially saving about RM6.24 million in electricity consumption within the next 25 years.
All of the PV installations are expected to be completed by April, 2020.
On the same day, TNB announced that it plans to install up to 100 electric vehicle (EV) charging stations nationwide by year-end 2019.
The project, with a RM1.5 million investment, will be carried out through its subsidiary TNB Energy Services Sdn Bhd (TNBES) and Malaysian Green Technology Corp (GreenTech Malaysia).
TNBES MD Dr Ahmad Jaafar Abd Hamid said 14 charging stations have been installed and another 35 potential sites have been identified thus far, pending approval to proceed by the premise owners.
He said TNBES is currently consolidating their collaboration with GreenTech Malaysia through the formation of a special purpose vehicle company, namely Tenaga E Mobility Solutions Sdn Bhd.
“TBES, a TNB entity, and GreenTech Malaysia, which is a government agency, have individual strength that can be leve-raged to ensure the success of the project which will eventually serve as a platform to proliferate EV usage in Malaysia,” Ahmad Jaafar said at the IGEM 2019.
To date, GreenTech Malaysia had installed about 250 charging stations nationwide.
Tenaga E Mobility Solutions has so far identified potential locations with high utilisation of EV chargers, including hypermarkets, hotels, malls and petrol stations.
“We are now focusing on malls that are located in the major cities like Penang, Kuala Lumpur and Johor Baru,” CEO Noor Hafifi Jalal said, adding that the EV market has been trending since the introduction of the National Automotive Policy 2014.
“So, right now we are looking to have about 17,000 (additional) plugs in hybrid. Through GreenTech Malaysia, we have already about 6,000 registered members and the number is growing,” Noor Hafifi said.