PETALING JAYA: Unsolicited independent power producers (IPPs) have left Malaysia’s reserve electricity margin at a high of 40% to 50%, it was revealed today.
Because of this, natural resources, environment and climate change minister Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad said, the electricity and tariff planning and implementation committee will no longer entertain such unsolicited IPPs.
“Previously, there was a practice of unsolicited IPPs. Any IPP could approach the minister to obtain approval. There was no planning from the government, but based on certain reasons, the Cabinet approved the IPPs.
“Today, our (electricity) reserve margin stands at 40% to 50% of excess energy and we are paying this excess energy through our electricity bills. Other countries can operate on a 15% energy reserve margin,” Nik Nazmi said in reply to Khoo Poay Tiong (PH-Kota Melaka) during question time in the Dewan Rakyat today.
He said IPPs can only be approved based on the committee’s planning and on the requirements and needs of the country.
Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man (PN-Kubang Kerian) asked whether Putrajaya will export the excess energy to neighbouring countries, seeing that there is a demand for power in Singapore and Thailand.
Agreeing with the opposition member, Nik Nazmi explained that Malaysia has lifted the ban on the export of renewable energy implemented in 2021.
The lifting of the ban was announced on May 9 by economy minister Rafizi Ramli at a joint press conference with Nik Nazmi.
Nik Nazmi said YTL is already selling conventional electricity to Singapore, through the interconnector system between the two countries.
“Currently, Malaysia is also purchasing hydro power from Laos, through Thailand. However, if we want to be the centre of what is the Asean power grid, we must upgrade our interconnector system.
“There is a demand for electricity from Thailand but we must first upgrade our interconnector system, before we can be that hub,” he said.