Malaysia considers adjusting FIT due to volume of solar

Talking to the newspaper, the authority says it is looking to change the tariffs before it calls for the next round of quotas this July or August. Specifically, solar has come under fire from SEDA chief executive officer, Badriyah Abdul Malek, who reportedly said that the amount being installed in comparison to the other renewable energies could be sending the "wrong signal".

To date, of the reported 311.6 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy installed in the country, solar comprises 140 MW. Furthermore, SEDA says applications for solar totaled 348 out of 377 applications under the FIT.

Justifying her statement, Badriyah Abdul Malek said that before solar capacity is added in big quantities, the industry should be first established and other "renewable resources that demand less per kilowatt hour (kWh) to fund" exhausted, such as small hydro, biomass and biogas.

To address the imbalance, it is thought the government will need to look at the administrative barriers faced by the other renewable energy sources. In comparison to them, solar is said to have fewer barriers and a higher tariff. "It was found that for small hydro, at least 30 signatures are required to get all the necessary approvals (e.g. state, local, etc.) and the construction for some RE plants e.g. small hydro and biomass could take up to 36 months," said Badriyah Abdul Malek. She added that it is "quite likely" the SEDA will adjust the FIT and/or degression rates.

At the start of December, Malaysia launched its new FIT system: after two hours the quotas were filled. However, following the disqualification of some earlier applications, which were accompanied by incomplete or inaccurate documentation, SEDA capped the applications for photovoltaics for different categories, in order to ensure a fairer share.