Renewable Energy Bill 2010 – Part 2: What Are The Concerns?

The Parliament sitting on March 7th 2011 tabled the Renewable Energy Bill 2010, and the Sustainable Energy Development Authority Bill 2010 for the second reading. Do you know what these bills mean to you?

Green Ink - LoyarBuroks Environmental Rights Column

Green Ink - LoyarBurok's Environmental Rights Column

Part 1 of this article briefly summarizes what the Renewable Energy Bill 2010 means to an ordinary Malaysian. In summary, what the RE Bill 2010 means to us is, if you are in Peninsular Malaysia and have a solar photovoltaic generator at home, you can apply to connect this generator to the grid, and get paid for selling the electricity to TNB for up to 21 years. For you, it could means you pay less for your monthly electricity bill, or you could even generate secondary income if you generate more electricity than you consume.

The payment to you will be expensed from the Renewable Energy Fund, until the cost of buying electricity from you is lower than the cost of TNB buying electricity from its traditional sources.

Many feedbacks and concerns were voiced online, as well as through our discussions and interviews with industry players and the general public. Most concerns generally can be grouped into the following:

  1. As the focal point to assist the Minister on climate change matters relating to energy, SEDA plays one of the most important roles in the development of Renewable Energy in Malaysia. The question is, do we have someone knowledgeable and capable enough in the Renewable Energy and Climate Change field to sit in SEDA? On what basis and criteria does the Minister appoint the board of SEDA? And also, to avoid conflict of interest, no one in SEDA should be from utility companies (TNB, SESCO, SESB).
  2. If the real intention of the RE Bill is to reduce carbon emissions, is there a target by which the implementation of FiT will reduce the number of coal-fired or fossil fuel-powered plants? This is exceptionally important as we might see the number of fossil fuel-powered plants increase concurrently with the increase of Renewable Energy Plants. If this happens, we are mainly increasing the energy consumption of the nation, and thus will have no effect in controlling carbon emissions.
  3. How does the RE Bill promote efficient energy use among consumers, and ultimately reducing the total energy demand of the country? The last thing we want is for the government to continue giving incentives to promote renewable energy, when there is no need for such high energy demand in the first place.
  4. The main contributor of the RE Fund will be from a potential electricity tariff increase of 1% (pending review). So essentially, it is the consumers, us, who will pay into the RE Fund. While this is ultimately a good move to create awareness among consumers to reduce electricity consumption, my question is, if consumers are the ones who contribute mainly to the fund, what is the financial contribution from the federal government, and also utility companies to this program?
  5. The capacity of RE eligible to be connected to the grid will be capped annually based on the availability of RE Fund. So if the annual capacity is capped at 200 MW, large corporations could just invest in seven Renewable Energy generators of 30MW each, and the fund would be fully taken up. If this happens, what incentive would consumers at large receive, and how do we want to promote the use of Renewable Energy among consumers?
  6. TNB’s profit in 2010 was RM1.5 billion; if 5% of this can go to the fund, how much more Renewable Energy capacity can we connect into the grid? Is it worthwhile for the government to impose such a regulation?


Feed-in Tariff: How it works | Source : Industrial Briefing on Feed-in Tariff Procedures, KeTTHA

There were several rounds of briefings to industry players on RE Bill in 2010, but it seems that there are still many questions left unanswered. And if KeTTHA is considering a roadshow to explain to the public the developments of the nuclear leak in Japan, I think it’d be more worthwhile to have public roadshows to clarify and seek more feedback on the Renewable Energy Bill 2010.

Chow Pong sells black in the day and turns green at night; “I fade in and out of existence; and I walk both worlds, to deliver the message in completeness.”

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I walk in and out of both world to deliver the most complete message.

Posted on 17 March 2011. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0.

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