Policymakers should strike balance in energy trilemma

Malaysia’s sustainability agenda can’t be pursued at the expense of its energy security and rakyat’s affordability


ENERGY and Natural Resources Deputy Minister Datuk Ali Biju said that the elements of security, affordability and sustainability must be balanced to address the energy trilemma issue and provide energy supply to the people.

“We cannot pursue our sustainability agenda at the expense of the rakyat’s affordability and our nation’s energy security,” Ali said in his keynote speech at Invest Malaysia 2021 Series 4 on Renewable Energy — Decarbonising Malaysia yesterday.

He said that Malaysia’s aim is to transition towards greener electricity supply in achieving its sustainability goals.

The country targets 31% of its installed capacity to be from renewable energy (RE) sources by 2025 and rise to 40% by 2035, the deputy minister said.

To date, the installed capacity for RE in Malaysia is about 7,995 megawatt (MW) or 22.5% of the country’s total power mix with large and mini hydro accounting for 5,863.9MW.

Solar contributes 1,368.9MW, biomass 637.6MW and biogas 124.3MW.

“With the new RE targets, Malaysia’s power sector’s carbon intensity is expected to be reduced by 45% in 2025 and 65% in 2035 compared to the intensity in 2005,” Ali said.

To achieve the target, the country intends to implement various sustainable energy-related programmes which include large-scale solar programme, feed-in tariff, self-consumption and net energy metering programme.

These programmes are expected to generate about 20,000 jobs and an investment value of RM12 billion for the economy.

Ali cited Climate Conference 26 president Alok Sharma who stated that every dollar invested in climate adaptation can result in up to US$10 (RM41.90) of economic benefit when Malaysia successfully transforms into a low carbon economy.

The Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California also viewed switching over from grid to renewable sources could stimulate the creation of 500,000 jobs every year through 2035.

“This is a future we can all believe in and support with all of our hearts,” Ali said.