Malaysia’s Sustainable Energy Development Authority (SEDA) and an Australian technology firm will together launch an eight-month pilot project of the firm’s peer-to-peer energy trading technology. The deal will see the firm test its blockchain-enabled P2P platform in Malaysia, with a trial due to start later this year. That pilot scheme will run for two months in an alpha test mode, before expanding to a beta run for six months.
SEDA hopes the trial will stimulate the growth of Malaysia’s solar PV rooftop market and accelerate the deployment of more distributed energy resources, such as battery storage, in the country. The tech firm, meanwhile, cited continuing regulatory change in Malaysia as opening the door for surplus, on-site generated power to be traded between buyers and sellers, using the grid as a ‘virtual battery’ to unlock further uptake.
The co-founder and chairman at the firm said that the project was part of a plan of the company’s to work with regulators and electricity retailers to make energy markets more efficient. Advancements in renewable energy technologies, coupled with regulatory changes, are starting to unlock new opportunities for the energy sector.
The firm has partnered with a number of renowned energy companies to improve the efficiency and transparency of energy markets globally. The Malaysia trial comes hot off the back of a similar announcement, made last week, which revealed the tech firm had partnered with a Japanese solar company and an energy supply firm to trial its technology in Japan’s Kanto region.
That project has been designed to offset the impact of feed-in tariff reductions taking place this month, due to affect more than 500,000 customers in the country. Both pilots expand on those previously announced in Japan and Australia, with energy storage set to play a pivotal role in allowing for the proliferation of such business models on those two cases.
Meanwhile, the Malaysia trial, for now, is focused on assessing and promoting the potential of rooftop solar, using the grid as a kind of ‘virtual battery’.
Malaysia’s Solar Tech Industry to Grow
- OpenGov Asia reported recently that while a lower bid price for developers suggests that the scope for any margin of error, such as project implementation delays, could adversely hit project economics, Malaysia has a relatively favourable investment environment with low political, economic and operating risks compared to regional peers.
- Earlier in September 2019, solar prices dropped to a record low, around the US$40/MWh mark in the third round of the country’s large-scale solar programme.
- A Singapore-based firm forecasts that Malaysia’s solar capacity will double from 438MW installed in 2018 to 966MW within ten years.
- The prospect of solar projects remains positive and point to scope for accelerating growth in the market over the coming years.
- The country’s high irradiation levels, its established domestic solar manufacturing sector, and the government’s plan to launch more large-scale solar tenders after the last rounds were significantly oversubscribed will all contribute to growth.
- A government push to improve the competitive landscape for the power sector will also create a more favourable investment environment, giving greater scope for renewables growth when more capacity is procured.
- A reform of the Malaysian electricity retail market industry will launch in late 2019, and state-owned energy company Tenaga Nasional Berhad will be restructured by the third quarter of 2020.