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Malaysia Country Report

Malaysia Country Report

Energy Situation in Malaysia: Present and Its Future

Nasrudin Abd Rahim*, Md. Hasanuzzaman, Md. Hasanuzzaman

UM Power Energy Dedicated Advanced Centre (UMPEDAC)

Level 4, Wisma R&D, University of Malaya, Jalan Pantai Baharu, 59990 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

* Corresponding Author. Tel: (603)22463246, Fax: (603) 22463257, E-mail: nasrudin* (replace * with @)


Energy is one of the most important driving forces for a nation to develop. Alternative energy sources and efficiency improvements become essential for energy planning, resource optimization and environmental protection. This paper focuses on the energy resources, power generation, energy consumption as well as alternative energy sources in Malaysia. Malaysian power generation fully depends on fossil fuels that produces huge amount of emission. Solar energy has a good potentially in Malaysia. However, Malaysia has given emphasis on renewable energy and the renewable energy target is 5.5% of Malaysia’s total electricity generation mix by 2015.

Keywords: Energy, Power generation, Emission, Photovoltaic.


In recent years the scientific and public awareness on environmental and energy issues has brought in major interests to the research of advanced technologies particularly in highly efficient technology [1]. Energy is an indispensable factor for the social and economic development of the societies. The usage level of energy is an indication of the economic prosperity of a nation. In Malaysia, the growing industrialization and increasing standard of living has considerably increased the usage of energy. Malaysian energy consumption has risen dramatically over the past 20 years due to the combined demands of industrialization and urbanization [2]. Due to increasing the energy consumption, there has been a growing concern about energy consumption and its adverse impact on the environment. Rational and efficient utilization of energy resources bears special importance as well. The aim of the research is to investigate the energy demand, supply, consumption, environmental impact as well as review the future energy resources.


Energy is the key input and basic need for the development, economic growth, automation and modernization [3]. As a result, global energy demands are increased rapidly and this concern is addressed internationally to fulfill the demand of energy for the future world. Figure 1 shows the world marketed power demand. World power demand rises from 145 billion MW in 2007 to 218 billion MW in 2035 (i.e. increases by 49 %).

Industrial sector consumes more than one third of total world energy consumption. It is also predicted that the share of energy consumption in this sector will be increased in future. Energy demand is increased due to the increasing the economic activities and automation in the industrial sector. So, it is an important task to analyze and predict energy uses in the industrial sector for the future [5, 6]. Energy used in the industrial sector is more compared to any other sector of the world’s total energy used. The demand of energy in the industrial sector depends on the region, country, level of economic activities, industrial product, production process, technological development etc. Figure 2 shows the world power demand in industrial sector. Energy consumption in the industrial sector increases rapidly in the non-OECD countries due to quick growth of their economy and predicted that the annual average rate will be 1.8 % from 2007 to 2035. Table 1 shows the statistic of energy use of industrial sector of different countries in the world.


Malaysian is one of the fast economic growing as well as industrial countries. Figure 3 shows the overall power demand in Malaysia. Due to fast industrialization, the overall power demands from 1990 to 2009 in Malaysia is increased about 3 times from 1990 to 2009. As a result, the power plant installation also increases. The power plant capacity is increased from 14,291 MW to 24,377 MW between 2000 to 2009 [2].

The industrial sector also one of the major energy users in Malaysia. The industrial power demands from 1990 to 2009 in Malaysia are shown in Figure 4. The power demand increasing rate of industrial sector was higher compared to whole Malaysian demand increasing rate between 1990 and 2009 [2].

Due to the economic crisis, the energy consumption in the industrial section has been decreased in 2009 compared to 2008. As industrial sector is one of the major energy consumers, this economic crisis affect the overall energy consumption in Malaysia. The overall energy consumption is less in 2009 compared to the year of 2008.


Figures 5 and 6 show Malaysian power generation capacity. From these Figures, it is found that power generation is mainly depemnds on the fossiel fuel that produces huge amount of emissions and changes the climate. Climate change is an important environmental problem which potentially leads to rises in sea levels, loss of coastal land, and ecological shifts. A major cause of climate change is emissions of greenhouse gases [7]. However, to fulfill the energy demand, energy generation sector contribute to the environmental degradation (i.e. emission, air pollution, acid rain, climate change etc.) [8]. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [9] reported that the great and serious problem for the environment of its global warming. To save the earth by curbing global warming has become a common mission of all humanity [10]. In order to the response this challenge, eco-efficiency approach is inducted to restrain an emission [11]. Figure 7 shows the electricity consumption by sector. From this Figure it is found that about 45% of electricity is consumed by industrial sector. So, about 45% of emission for power generation are responsible the industrial sector. In Brazil about 81% of CO2 emissions by the country’s industrial sector come from energy use [12]. Emissions release by the burning of fossil fuels have a serious greenhouse effect (i.e. acid rain, ice melting, temperature rises) on mankind [13]. More the energy used, more the CO2 emission [14]. Since the emissions is directly depends on the usage of fossil fuels, so reduction of energy consumption is the direct way of control emission's problem [15].


Known energy sources are exhausted rapidly due to increasing the energy consumption. So, alternative energy sources are very much important for the future energy demand. In the recent years, renewable energy is very popular in many countries. Among the renewable energy sources, solar energy is the most potential energy sources in Malaysia. The earth receives about 1000 pW of energy from the sun every year. This amount is enough to cover the Earth’s energy demand for over 1000 times. Capturing sunlight and turning them into electricity for daily usage is a very good idea and the photovoltaic system has been applied in Malaysia in early 1980s [16]. Nowadays, photovoltaic technology grows rapidly in worldwide. Developed countries (i.e. America, Europe, Australia, China, Japan) have been applied the photovoltaic technology for development of the countries. The developing countries (i.e. Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam) are starting the use of the PV technology. Photovoltaic technology is growing fast due to the awareness of climate change, thinner ozone layer and carbon emission. The avarage of solar radiation is 400 to 600 Mj/m2 in Malaysia [17]. It has a promising potential to establish large scale solar power installations. The Malaysian government is keen to develop solar energy as one of the significant sources of energy in the country. However, despite rigorous initiatives, the renewable target set out under the Ninth Plan period was not achieved. Under the Tenth Plan (2011–2015), several new initiatives anchored upon the Renewable Energy Policy and Action Plan will be undertaken to achieve a renewable energy target of 985 MW by 2015, contributing 5.5% to Malaysia’s total electricity generation mix [18]. Major usage of solar field is known as the photovoltaiec device. The main aim was incourage of consumers to use of solar energy. The first project was started about residential sector for directing of awareness about how to use of solar energy in demostic area [19]. Solar irradiation is so large in this area. According to report of government in Malaysia, there will be around 50% to 80% will be generated by solar PV [20]. Figure 8 shows annual average solar radiation in Malaysia.

It can be said that in the north and north east part of malaysia the value of solar radiation is highest. Table 2 states the solar annual radiation in the different area in Malaysia [17].


It is found that energy consumption increasing rapidly all over the world as well as in Malaysia. Malaysia power generation sector is mostly based on fossil fuels. Industrial sector one of the major energy consumers where the energy consumption increasing rate is very high compared others sectors. Malaysia has good renewable energy resources that can be used for power generation. Solar energy is one of the most potential renewable energy sources.


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