IBC Solar encourages Malaysia to support PV

The call came as the company officially handed over a 20 kWp capacity solar system, designed to supply families with electricity in Borneo’s Sarawak region.

Möhrstedt explained: "Malaysia is one of the big solar module producers, exporting the major share of their modules. I would like to encourage the Malaysian government to support more photovoltaic projects, in order to more strongly promote the development of the local infrastructure."

According to IBC Solar Malaysia, since mid-July, the PV system has provided around 50 Malaysian families in Borneo with environmentally friendly power. The system is installed on a longhouse, which is located in Kerapa Spak; a four-hour boat ride and an “arduous” trek through the jungle away from the closest major city, Betong. In the past, said the company, energy had to be produced by a diesel generator.

The hybrid system is said to generate electricity for the village community and creates a stable connection to the outside world as it powers a satellite supported telecommunications system. The system was handed over to the Malaysian government on July 13.

The company went on to explain that Malaysian longhouses resemble row houses and are made up of several units: each unit houses a family. All of the units are built under a single roof and the entire house forms a social and political community. It added that for a long time, the villagers had been cut off from the outside world during most of the year and were dependent on diesel generators for their power supply. Due to the long transportation route for fuel, energy was strictly rationed, consumed only for the essentials, it said.

Now a battery system saves solar power for the hours when the sun isn’t shining. A solar powered satellite-supported VSAT communications system provides the villagers with a connection to the outside world via telephone and internet.

Managing director of IBC Solar’s Malaysian subsidiary, Ahmad Nazri Ibrahim, commented: "With the new hybrid system, the entire longhouse can be illuminated. Even the community room can be instantly lit with 21 lamps, the surrounding area with seven more. The system’s advantage: It will deliver emission-free power for at least the next 25 years, with only minimum maintenance work. So the village community will be reliably provided for."