Floating Solar Panel Strengthen Sarawak in Renewable Energy


The electric generation based on the photovoltaic (PV) effect is considered ideal in Sarawak as a response to the government policy encouraging the use of renewable energy to support the depletion of conventional energy while also acting as a game changer in ensuring the supply of electricity in Sarawak’s rural areas.

A PV system is a power plant that converts solar photon ray radiation into electrical energy via sunlight through solar cells (photovoltaic). Solar cells are composed of thin layers of pure silicon (Si) or another semiconductor material.

The installation of floating solar panels in all of Sarawak’s hydroelectric plants is one of the efforts made by MEESty to expand the application of green energy in Sarawak. Photo Source: (How floating solar panels are being used to power electric grids, 2023).

However, standard ground installation of a PV panel is vulnerable to various effects that reduce power production and efficiency, such as hot panel surface, which can lead to cell malfunction.

The Floating Photovoltaic System (FPV), often known as floating solar panels, is one approach for designing cooling systems for PV panels.

Floating solar panel installed in Batang Ai is environment-friendly since it reduces the need to cut down trees for ground-mounted PV systems. Photo Source: (Putting Solar Panels on Water Is a Great Idea—But Will It Float?, 2019)

When a solar power plant is situated on a waterbody, the air on the surface is cooler, preventing the solar panel surface from overheating.

The installation of floating solar panels in all of Sarawak’s hydropower plants is one of the efforts the Ministry of Energy and Environmental Sustainability Sarawak (MEESty) through Sarawak Energy has put into place to expand the application of green energy.

As Sarawak is currently the main and largest player in renewable energy or green energy in Malaysia and the Southeast Asian region, YB Dr. Haji Hazland bin Abang Hipni, Deputy Minister for Energy and Environmental Sustainability of Sarawak stated that floating solar panels will be installed in all hydroelectric dams in Sarawak.

Sarawak became one of the main players in securing energy in the Southeast Asia region. Infographic Source: (A Bright Spot for Southeast Asia Energy Security, 2020)

According to Sarawak Energy Group Chief Executive Officer, Datu Haji Sharbini Suhaili, Sarawak Energy began construction on its first 50 MW floating solar unit at its Batang Ai dam in June 2023, with completion scheduled by the end of 2024.

Datu Haji Sharbini Suhaili also stated that Sarawak Energy intends to develop at least 400 MW of floating solar power capacity at its dams by 2030 as the Malaysian utility expands to fulfill increased demand for renewables from neighboring nations.

Last but not least, advantages of floating solar panels in Sarawak:

  1. Effective conversion efficiency of the module under operational conditions.
  2. Land conservation; it can be deployed in cities and towns without a lot of space.
  3. Water conservation; reduction of evaporation
  4. Environment-friendly; alleviate the need to cut down trees for ground-mounted systems


Daley, J. (2019). Putting Solar Panels on Water Is a Great Idea—But Will It Float? [Photograph]. Scientific American. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/putting-solar-panels-on-water-is-a-great-idea-mdash-but-will-it-float/

Green Sarawak (2023). Floating Solar, will it be the next move in Sarawak? [Photograph]. https://greensarawak.com/floating-solar-will-it-be-the-next-move-in-sarawak/

Junianto, B., & Dewi, T. (2019). Development and Feasibility Analysis of Floating Solar Panel Application in Palembang, South Sumatra. Journal of Physics: Conference Series, 2-3. https://doi.org/10.1088/1742-6596/1500/1/012016

Liza, H. (2023, March 11). Panel solar terapung akan dipasang di semua empangan hidroelektrik di Sarawak: Dr Hazland. Utusan Borneo Online. Retrieved September 5, 2023, from https://www.utusanborneo.com.my/2023/03/11/panel-solar-terapung-akan-dipasang-di-semua-empangan-hidroelektrik-di-sarawak-dr-hazland

Sitohang, J., & Yurnaidi, Z. (2020). A Bright Spot for Southeast Asia Energy Security [Infographic]. Scientific American. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/putting-solar-panels-on-water-is-a-great-idea-mdash-but-will-it-float/

Star Media Group Berhad (2023, June 27). Sarawak Energy plans 400MW floating solar capacity by 2030. The Star. Retrieved September 5, 2023, from


Vineet, S. K., Chauhan, N. S., & Kushwaha, D. (2015). An Overview of Hydro-Electric Power Plant. Journal of Mechanical Engineering, 6(1), 59.


Wanna, C. (2023). How floating solar panels are being used to power electric grids [Photograph]. Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/renewables/how-floating-solar-panels-are-being-used-to-power-electric-grids/articleshow/98481826.cms

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