Govt will focus on Peninsular Malaysia in its bid to increase RE in the power capacity mix as it accounts for 80% of the country’s electricity demand
by ASILA JALIL / Pic by TMR GRAPHIC
MALAYSIA plans to increase the share of renewable energy (RE) in its installed capacity to 31% in 2025 and 40% in 2035 under its power generation plan.
Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Datuk Seri Dr Shamsul Anuar Nasarah said to date, the installed capacity for RE in the country stands at 7,995 megawatt (MW) and it is projected to increase to 18,000MW by 2035.
The minister shared Malaysia’s energy transition plans until 2040 with other energy ministers of Asean countries during the virtual meeting of Asean Ministers on Energy and the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan recently.
He explained that the government will focus on Peninsular Malaysia in its bid to increase RE in the power capacity mix as it accounts for 80% of the country’s electricity demand.
“Out of the 31% RE target in 2025, 26% comes from peninsula in 2025 and out of the 40% target in 2035, peninsula accounts for 32%.
“RE capacity in peninsula is projected to increase from the current 4,430MW to 10,944MW in the next 15 years. As solar has the highest potential, Malaysia plans to introduce battery energy storage systems, with a total capacity of 500MW from 2030 onwards,” the ministry said in a statement.
With the targets in place, Shamsul Anuar said carbon emission intensity from the power sector is set to decline by 45% in 2030 and a further 60% in 2035, compared to the 2005 level, in line with Malaysia’s Nationally Determined Contributions targets under the Paris Climate Agreement.
He noted that Malaysia’s energy transition plan should be affordable in line with the Sustainable Development Goal 7 of ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.
“Therefore, while Malaysia is pushing for a higher target of RE in its capacity mix, the ministry also takes into account the affordability of the energy transition to the rakyat and the resiliency of Malaysia’s energy system.
More than 7,000MW of coal power plant’s power purchase agreements will expire by 2033 and be replaced mostly by gas and RE which would lower Malaysia’s carbon emissions.
As the transition takes place in the country, the ministry said it would not discount the option of extending the operation of coal power plants despite having no plans on building new ones.
The decision for the extension of the plants will depend on future availability of technologies in reducing emissions and also the cost of adopting the technologies, said the ministry.
“As solar has the highest potential in the Peninsular Malaysia, most of Malaysia’s RE will be contributed by solar. Hence, the ministry will introduce utility scale battery energy storage systems with a total capacity of 500MW from 20302034,” it added.
The minister stated that Malaysia’s energy transition journey towards a lower carbon pathway would have its set of challenges. He said Asean will continue working together with various dialogue partners and international organisations to achieve sustainable energy goals.
He also expressed his appreciation towards the support offered by Japan to further enhance its policies and programmes which will assist the region in transitioning its energy systems towards a lower carbon pathway.
“Malaysia welcomes Japan’s Asia Energy Transition Initiative in providing support in terms of expertise, knowledge sharing and capacity building towards the development of a sustainable, affordable and reliable energy future for Asean,” it added.