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LETTER | Increase the depleting rooftop solar quota to stem unemployment, climate crisis

LETTER | On January 2, 2021, PSM had welcomed the refreshed rooftop solar quota under Net Energy Metering 3.0 (NEM 3.0) from the government but criticised that the solar quota was too low.

The government had projected that the 300MW solar quota for the commercial sector would last for three years, but Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) projects that it will instead be exhausted within months.

The entire solar quota for the commercial sector could potentially be exhausted by the end of May after the take-up rate hit 75 percent within 43 days. The rooftop solar industry will come to a near halt stalling job creation as the commercial sector represents 90 percent of total rooftop solar demand.

The green jobs created by the solar industry are crucial to stem chronic unemployment and the climate crisis. Besides that, the rapid adoption of rooftop solar panels by the commercial sector will bring down prices. The decrease in rooftop solar panel prices will increase the installation rate by the price-conscious residential sector.

Without adopting a smart electricity grid (SEG), Tenaga Nasional Bhd’s electricity grid can only accept about 4,000MW of solar power. The government had already allocated about 3,500 MW until 2023 under the Large-Scale Solar (LSS1-3) and rooftop solar (NEM 1-3) programmes, leaving a buffer of 500MW for rooftop solar. There is also about 200MW of unutilised Large-Scale Solar quota.

The government needs to increase the depleting rooftop solar quota for the commercial sector to stem unemployment and climate crisis.

SHARAN RAJ is PSM national coordinator.

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.

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