Malaysia plans rooftop solar buyback program to incentive solar adoption


The Malaysian government is planning a rooftop solar buyback program and will extend the net energy metering program (NEM) until December 31, 2024, as part of Budget 2024. The move aims to incentivize rooftop solar installation, as announced by Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim.

The government is also calling for companies to offer a model for residential rooftop solar installation that requires zero capital expenditure, such as those offered by Petronas’s green energy unit Gentari. 

SEDA Malaysia is leading by example with the installation of the 16kW solar PV system on the rooftop. (Photo: SEDA)

Rafizi Ramli, the Minister of Economy, said in August that the government intends to implement market reforms enabling residential rooftop owners to earn income from their rooftops through solar installations.

According to this buyback plan, companies would invest in these installations and pay monthly rent to the rooftop owners.  

Although the mechanism is still being refined, Gentari and SOLS Energy have initiated a subscription-based service in June to make rooftop solar installations accessible to interested consumers without upfront costs. 

Other models include full purchase that requires consumers to pay the full system costs to own the rooftop solar assets. 

Malaysia’s residential NEM program, where electricity produced from a house’s rooftop solar power system offsets consumption, has a 26.03 MW quota balance, out of 150 MW made available. 

(Photo: SEDA)

For non-domestic consumers, the quota balance stands at 151.11 MW, out of 800 MW made available, according to data from the Sustainable Energy Development Authority. 

The government is also demonstrating its commitment to a low-carbon economy by implementing a pilot project with TNB and Gentari to install solar panels on the rooftops of Federal Government buildings.

These incentives are in line with the targets set in the National Energy Transition Roadmap (NETR), moving into renewable and sustainable energy sources.

As for electric vehicles, the government welcomed the investments by companies including Gentari, TNB and Tesla that accelerated charging infrastructure in the country. The prime minister also said that the Federal Administration will begin utilizing EVs as official vehicles.

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