CAP Calls for Careful Consideration of Solar Energy Adoption in Malaysia

The Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP) urges the Malaysian government to consider all aspects of solar energy adoption carefully. In our recent memorandum submitted to relevant agencies on 23 May 2024, we have outlined the benefits, challenges, and key recommendations for the energy transition toward solar power. Our objective is to ensure that informed decisions are made, prioritizing long-term sustainability and the well-being of our nation and its citizens.

Benefits of Solar Energy

1. Renewable and Sustainable: Solar energy is abundant and inexhaustible. Malaysia’s strategic location near the Equator provides high solar energy capacity, making it a reliable long-term energy source.
2. Environmentally Friendly: Solar energy production involves minimal greenhouse gas emissions, helping to combat climate change and reduce air pollution compared to fossil fuel-based power generation.
3. Job Creation: The expansion of the solar industry generates significant employment opportunities across various sectors, including manufacturing, installation, maintenance, and research and development.

Challenges of Solar Energy

1. High Initial Costs: The upfront investment for purchasing and installing solar panels and related equipment can be a barrier for many homeowners and businesses.
2. Space Limitations: Solar installations require considerable space, which can be challenging in densely populated or heavily shaded areas.
3. Environmental Impact of Manufacturing and Disposal: The production and disposal of solar panels involve hazardous materials, posing potential environmental and health risks without proper waste management policies.
4. Fire Hazard And Leaching From Landfill: Lithium-ion batteries have a high potential to catch fire when exposed to heat and moisture, or crushed. The inappropriate disposal of lithium-ion batteries has caused many fire hazards in landfills and battery-recycling facilities.

Key Recommendations

1. Investment Incentives: Provide financial incentives such as tax credits, rebates, subsidies, and low-interest loans to encourage the widespread adoption of solar energy systems.
2. Establish Clear Policy on Waste Management: Recycling plants dedicated to safe waste management of solar panels are needed to reduce environmental impacts and promote circular economy practices. Clear policies and regulations are thus needed to ensure proper handling and disposal of photovoltaic waste, promoting industry-wide compliance with recycling standards.
3. One-Stop-Shop Service: Establish a centralized platform for solar energy services to streamline the entire process from information gathering to installation, maintenance, and waste management, ensuring a seamless experience for consumers.
4. Information and Awareness Campaigns: Conduct comprehensive information and awareness campaigns to educate the public about the benefits of solar energy and available incentives, empowering informed decision-making.
5. Funding In Rural Areas And Urban Poor Communities: Allocate funds to support solar energy installations in underserved areas, promoting sustainable development in their local communities.

CAP emphasizes the importance of a balanced approach in considering the adoption of solar energy. By weighing the benefits and challenges and implementing our recommendations, the government can ensure a successful and just energy transition. We call upon the government to take decisive action, fostering a cleaner and more resilient energy future for Malaysia.

Click here for the memorandum:



Mohideen Abdul Kader
Consumers Association of Penang