Malaysia’s energy policy is determined by the Government, which addresses issues pertaining to energy production, distribution, and consumption. The Department of Electricity and Gas Supply functions as the regulator while other players in the energy sector include energy supply and service companies, research and development institutions and the consumers. Petronas and Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) are the major Government-linked companies (GLCs) in Malaysia’s energy sector.

Government agencies which contribute to the policy are the Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment & Climate Change (MESTECC), the Energy Commission (Suruhanjaya Tenaga) and GreenTech Malaysia.

Malaysia currently relies heavily on coal, oil and natural gas for its energy generation. Fossil fuel is non-renewable, that is they draw on finite resources that will eventually dwindle, becoming too expensive or too environmentally damaging to retrieve. In contrast, renewable energy resources such as wind and solar energy are constantly replenished and will never run out. Most renewable energy comes either directly or indirectly from the sun.

Renewable energy (RE) is energy that is constantly generated by natural processes and continuously replenished. This includes sunlight, geothermal heat, wind, tides, water, and various forms of biomass. This energy is literarily inexhaustible and is constantly renewed. Whereas alternative energy is an energy source that does not use fossil fuel. Generally, it refers to energy that is non-traditional and has a low environmental impact. By most definitions, alternative energy doesn’t harm the environment, a distinction which separates it from renewable energy which may or may not have significant environmental impact.

The Energy Commission (Suruhanjaya Tenaga), had put in place RE as an alternative energy source to support the ever growing energy demand in the Eleventh Malaysia Plan (2012–2016). Currently, Peninsula Malaysia has a total licenced capacity of 392MW, mostly fuelled by solar PV (235MW), biomass (89MW), mini hydro (34MW), and biogas (34MW). Figure below shows the increased number of licenced for RE from 2015 to 2016:

Source: Energy Commission 2017 Statistics
Installed Renewable Energy Plants in Peninsular Malaysia
Source: Energy Commission 2017 Electricity Supply

Even though Malaysia has its own oil and gas reserves, we should view agro-based green energy such as hydrogen fuel, solar energy and wind energy as our next economic frontier. To overcome new challenges ahead arising from the dynamic international markets, a bolder free-market economic policy and blue ocean strategies should be deployed to encourage the growth of agro-based green energy in the local industries. With this in view, this will also reflect Malaysia’s commitment in RE sector in support in reducing Global Warming issues.

Written by:
Azlina Hashim