Malaysia Poised To Be Leader In Solar Industry
KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Solar PV Roadmap 2030, to be launched by the end of 2017 will pave the way for the further development of the country’s photovoltaic (PV) industry.
The effort, which involves key stakeholders from the industry, government departments and academia will be instrumental in ensuring Malaysia achieves greater success in the solar PV industry.
According to Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) chief executive officer Datuk Azman Mahmud, Malaysia was a key exporter of photovoltaic (PV) cells and modules and was well positioned to benefit from the spillover effects of growing solar power usage worldwide.
“Solar power usage is expected to grow between 12% and 20% over the next five years. We are now the world’s third largest manufacturer of PV cells and modules and also have the largest thin film manufacturing site.
“We are now one of the top exporters of solar panels to the United States and have achieved significant progress in the solar PV industry over the last decade, with healthy growth seen in new businesses and creation of jobs,” he said.
He said MIDA had last year attracted seven more solar manufacturing projects and 83 renewable energy projects in the solar industry worth RM1.77 billion and RM0.65 billion respectively, while the biggest investment was contributed by Longi, a major solar giant producing solar ingot, wafer cells and modules.
“Although solar PV is a new source of growth in Malaysia, we have made preparations to transform Malaysia into a hub for solar manufacturing and services, and an efficient energy generator towards creating economic growth, energy security and sustainable development.
“The government through the Economic Transformation Programme aims to achieve 1,250 MW solar power capacity to be connected to the grid by 2020,” added Azman.
Azman said MIDA was now in the process of talking to several other PV manufacturers from overseas that are keen to invest in Malaysia.
He said over the last decade, this sector has resulted in the growth of new businesses and creation of jobs and as at 2015, 48 solar projects were implemented with total investments of RM28.0 billion, to produce solar wafers, cells, modules and balance of system components.
Of this, 95.3% was from foreign investments, while another 4.7% was from domestic sources.
“In 2016, according to a MIDA survey, export and local sourcing activities undertaken by the top solar companies in the country was valued at RM11.1 billion and RM1.42 billion respectively.
“We export over 80% of PV products to Europe, US and Asia,” he added.
To further boost the solar energy capacity in the country, Azman said the Government has introduced two new policies in 2016 to scale up the generation of renewable energy (RE).
The policies are namely net energy metering and large scale solar mechanisms, which will accelerate the achievement of RE target of 2,080 MW by 2020.
These two initiatives will also contribute an additional 1,500 MW of RE by 2020. With this, the Government can save the cost of electricity generation during peak hours from conventional fuels.
He added that investors should look at Malaysia from a wider regional perspective and consider the country as a strategic business partner within the region and beyond.