COVID-19 has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives and greatly impacted the global economy. The world is yet to recover from the losses caused by the pandemic even 6 months after the outbreak. It has indeed impacted the worldwide economy, and industries in Malaysia are not exempted.
As national’s GDP continues to be hard hit by COVID-19 pandemic, the government, via the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources Committee has announced a new clean energy quota as an immediate way to boost the Malaysian economy.
The Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources (KeTSA) has agreed to open a competitive bidding process for the Large Scale Solar (LSS) program led by Malaysia Electricity Industry in order to Attract Renewable Energy Investment – which is what the name of LSS@MenTARI.
This bid by the Ministry to offer 1,000 megawatts (MW) of solar quota via the Energy Commission (EC) was immediately effective on May 31. This huge announcement by Minister Datuk Dr Shamsul Anuar Nasarah under LSS@MenTARI is a step towards the national economy recovery.
In fact, Malaysia is not new in the large-scale solar programme. This LSS@MenTARI is the fourth LSSPV tender announced by the government. Up to-date, there is a total of 890MW of large-scale solar farms awarded by the Energy Commission so far, while LSS plants with a total capacity of 542MW have been commissioned. So far in 2019, there’s a total of 393GWh of energy from generated by LSS out of the national capacity of 24,132MW.
The increase in photovoltaic (PV) installations between those years has resulted in increased job opportunities to the country. In 2020, the Malaysian government wants to benefit from solar energy investments as much as possible to speed up economic growth.
The solar quota will be offered to 100% Malaysian-owned small and local companies or companies with at least a 75% local shareholding for companies listed on Bursa Malaysia.
According to the Malaysian’s Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources, “Each developer can make a maximum of only three bids. The period to submit the documents is three months compared with six months to ensure the project implementation can start before the end of 2020.”
In the past few months, the Malaysian government has shown a growing emphasis on how to sustainably rebuild the economy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. One of its main purposes, job creation, has been achieved by providing large scale solar in Malaysia.
Besides restoring the energy and natural resources industries, the bidding is expected to attract an estimated RM4 billion which is approximately $927 million. Calculating using 1 megawatt to 12 new jobs, the investment of 1,000 megawatts will generate 12,000 job opportunities which are great news for unemployed Malaysians.