Solar energy has become one of the primary sources of renewable energy and widely used for different purposes. This means that there is plenty of it to go around because it is an energy source that won’t run out (not for another few billion years anyway).
Fossil fuels on the other hand are a finite source of energy, and one that we damage the planet with when we mine and distribute it. By relying on solar panels, you are one less household or business that is relying on fossil fuels, and it can make a bigger impact than you might think.Solar advocates today are coming onboard to promote the renewable energy (RE) source, claiming that it is more affordable and readily available.
Episode 26 of the Top In Tech series titled Green Wash or Green Tech? - Is solar nice to have or a must have in Malaysia’s energy mix? sought to delve into the progress of the Malaysian solar sector, addressing limitations and barriers to adopting solar tech and how we can propel the solar energy ecosystem locally.
Hosted by Karamjit Singh, the guest panelists were Dato’ (Dr.) Ir. Guntor Tobeng, Group MD, Gading Kencana Sdn Bhd, Davis Chong, Executive Director and Group CEO, Solarvest and Edward Clayton, Partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).
“Malaysia is a country with a suitable climate for solar water-heating systems and solar electricity generation. It has a high solar energy radiation potential, with the average amount of daily sunshine ranging from six to eight hours. Many homes using solar energy systems can easily heat their water and use energy without racking up high energy bills. This situation has made Malaysia an enviable nation with regards to its high potential for solar energy systems,” said Dato’ (Dr.) Ir. Guntor.
It is time that Malaysians focus on solar projects to create clean and renewable energy. From your refrigerator to your air conditioner, solar panels can power all of it.
According to Edward, some of the approaches to make solar more useful is focusing on itsenergy storage and management solutions such as with batteries, pumped storage/compressed air storage, electric vehicle charging using smart meters, water pre-chilling, smart air-con, domestic appliances for peak slicing, smart dispatch techniques and others.
Batteries in solar panelsMost people rely on electricity from the power grid to supplement their solar-generated power. But residential solar energy systems paired with battery storage provide power regardless of the weather or the time of day without having to rely on backup power from the grid.Battery storage lets you leverage low-cost energy that has already been generated and stored, ensuring your rates stay low and don’t affect your monthly budget.
Davis pointed out that Malaysia has always had a clear policy and guidelines such as Feed-in Tariff (FiT), Net energy metering (NEM), Large Scale Solar (LSS), which is one of the best policies in South East Asia. However, our country is still too conservative in implementing these technologies. Hence, it is time our country takes the next step in enhancing these implementations.
“We have tax incentives now, so don’t leave your rooftop to be empty. Solar power shines a light on the great opportunity we have to tackle our nation’s carbon footprint, while investing in the economic well-being of communities across our country with new solar projects,” Davis concluded.
“Renewables and solar are a very important part of Malaysia’s energy mix. Moving forward, these are something we need to embrace and take advantage of not just building a solution for our energy but also building an industry that we can export worldwide,” concluded Edward.
“While we discuss the growth of solar energy systems, we also have to take note of the solar equipment waste at the same time. We must have a solar PV waste policy and more environmentally friendly battery waste. Growing PV panel waste presents a new environmental challenge, but also unprecedented opportunities to create value and pursue new economic avenues,” concluded Dato’ (Dr.) Ir. Guntor.
Find out more about the discussion from the replay of Top In Tech Episode 26: Green Wash or Green Tech? - Is solar nice to have or a must have in Malaysia’s energy mix? HERE.