Malaysian PV investment hits $544 million in 2016

Roughly 1.77 billion ringgit was invested in seven PV production facilities last year, MIDA said, with investments in 83 undisclosed renewable energy projects rising to 650 million ringgit.

About 11.1 billion ringgit of unspecified solar products were exported from Malaysia in 2016, while 1.42 billion ringgit of equipment was sourced in the country, MIDA said, citing data collected from an undisclosed number of companies.

MIDA did not immediately respond to requests to comment.

It pointed to Chinese monocrystalline silicon producer Longi’s recent $240 million investment in a new wafer, cell and module plant in the state of Sarawak as the biggest solar investment in the country last year.

MIDA chief executive Dato’ Azman Mahmud said the investment underscored Malaysia’s “growing importance… as a solar cell manufacturing hub” and urged investors to consider the country as a strategic base.

“A strong supply chain is also crucial,” he said in an online statement. “We are building up local capabilities to develop further in areas such as system integration and balance of system components, which are important parts of the PV system value chain.”

About 95% of investments in solar production in Malaysia comes from outside of the country, MIDA claims. 

Separately, MIDA this week vowed to release its Malaysian Solar PV Roadmap 2030 by the end of 2017, according to the New Straits Times.

The Malaysian government is targeting 2.08 GW of installed renewables capacity by 2020, with net metering policies and state support for large-scale solar projects to account for about 1.5 GW of the total.

Malaysia’s installed PV capacity currently stands at 296.5 MW, with 34.5 MW of new solar added in 2016, according to the Sustainable Energy Development Authority (SEDA).

Earlier this month, the Malaysian Energy Commission issued a request for proposal to auction off the rights to develop 360 MW of grid-connected solar capacity in Peninsular Malaysia and 100 MW in Sabah and Labuan on the island of Borneo.

The projects will be commissioned in 2019-20.