CYBERJAYA (Bernama) – Solar photovoltaic, a method of converting energy from sunlight directly into electricity using large arrays of solar panels, is still not fully utilised in the country due to lack of exposure and interest among individuals and industry players.
American Malaysian Chamber of Commerce’s Malaysian American Renewable Industry Committee (AMCHAM-MARI) president P’ng Soo Hong said Malaysia should take advantage of its geographical location to boost solar energy which currently stood at less than one per cent of the electricity supply.
He said the use of solar energy in the country was not in tandem with Malaysia’s achievements as the third biggest producer of photovoltaic modules and components (PV) in the world after China and Taiwan with investments of over RM10 billion mainly from South Korean, Japanese and American companies since 2008.
“We have the expertise in manufacturing solar PV components but we are not using and exploiting them. What a waste,” he told Bernama.
P’ng, who is also First Solar Sdn Bhd managing director, said the use of solar energy could help the country achieve the goal of reducing carbon dioxide emission intensity by 40 per cent by 2020.
Even though this source of renewable energy needs high initial capital, its maintenance cost is minimal, he said, adding that, “For a start, solar panels can be install on a small scale on the roof of our homes before moving on to solar farms to generate high-capacity electricity.”
Malaysian Photovoltaic Industry Association (MPIA) president Ahmad Shadzli Abdul Wahab said alternative sources of electricity would not be a threat to conventional energy and utility producers like Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) as they would complement each other.
He said the commercial production of solar energy would help TNB cater to the needs of consumers, especially during peak hours, and cut operating costs, thus curtailing the need to turn to nuclear energy for the environmentally-friendly and safe solar energy.
Ahmad Shadzli said the Malaysian Solar PV Roadmap 2030, being formulated byindustry players and stakeholders to strategise the growth of the solar energy industry, would be ready by June next year.
Ahmad Shadzli also heads the Malaysian Solar PV Roadmap 2030 Committee.