Malaysian state utility eyeing 100 MW of solar in forthcoming auctions

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Malaysia’s largest state-backed utility Tenaga Nasional is preparing to secure more than 100 MW of solar PV capacity under government power auctions over the next five years, reports Bloomberg.

The government has outlined plans to develop 200 MW of large-scale solar farms via an auction mechanism, spread out between now and 2020. The inaugural national tender will be offered in 2016, Tenaga Nasional VP of regulatory economics and planning division Roslina Zainal told Bloomberg.

At the end of 2014 Malaysia had cumulative solar PV capacity of 134 MW, with Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) figures suggesting the nation will end 2015 with 185 MW installed – a modest rise in a region that is experiencing something of a clean energy boom.

Thailand is on course to install more than 1 GW of new solar PV capacity this year, and at least the same again in 2016, according to reports, thus driving the Southeast Asia region’s solar footprint to become the third-largest in Asia-Pacific after China and India.

BNEF says that Q3 investment in clean energy in Southeast Asia reached $11.4 billion. For Malaysia, the focus now is on ensuring the country attracts the right "expertise and knowhow", Roslina said, as it seeks to shift away from a fossil fuel-based energy mix.