Beginning 2019, no price difference between solar generation and consumption tariff

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KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 22): Members of the public who generate solar energy for personal use will soon get rebates from Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) at the same consumption tariff under the revised net energy metering (NEM) programme.

This, said energy minister Yeo Bee Yin at the Dewan Rakyat today, is to ensure the programme is feasible in terms of ringgit and sen to electricity consumers.

Previously, consumers sell excess solar energy produced to TNB at “displaced cost” prices which is at 31 sen/KWh, said Yeo, but purchase at tariffs of over 50 sen/KWh.

"From Jan 1, 2019, there will be no more differences in the selling and purchasing prices of electricity.

"TNB bill calculation will be based on one-on-one where bill is similar with clean consumption rate, which is consumption minus generation times with tariff," said Yeo.

On a related matter, Yeo also told the Dewan Rakyat that anyone interested to switch to solar energy can opt for "solar leasing", a new concept under a widened supply agreement for renewable energy (SARE) programme.

"With this policy, users can enjoy zero upfront cost to install photovoltaic (PV) panels, and payment for the monthly leasing fee or solar energy usage can be made to the solar company involved via TNB bills," said Yeo.

These steps, said the minister, is in line with the adoption of solar energy generation in Malaysia towards grid-parity, where cost per kilowatt hour (KWh) calculated under levelized cost of energy (LCOE) principle is the same with cost per KWh electricity generated from conventional fuel, namely coal and gas.

"Solar technology has matured and costs have become more competitive. Solar PV panel prices has fell 80% since 2009," she said, adding that this is also one reason quota for solar is no longer offered under the fit-in-tariff (FiT) mechanism.

The FiT mechanism involves renewable energy, namely biogas, biomass, geothermal mini-hydro as well as solar, which is now no longer offered.

Under the FiT capacity permitted by the Sustainable Energy Development Authority (SEDA) previously, some 566MW has been connected to the grid, with 70% or 380MW coming from solar projects.