Solar photovoltaic (PV) potential is fundamentally dependent on incoming solar radiation, which is strongly dependent on geographic location and every potential location has a corresponding microclimate, so it is important to consider how local climatology may affect PV conversion efficiency.
According to the Premier of Sarawak, YAB Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri (Dr) Abang Haji Abdul Rahman Zohari bin Tun Datuk Abang Haji Openg, Sarawak is a significant player in green energy, and the Prime Minister acknowledged that many of Sarawak’s plans are more forward-thinking and proficient than those of other states.
One of the measures undertaken to enhance solar energy in Sarawak is the supply of solar electricity from the Sarawak Alternative Rural Electrification Scheme (SARES) project, a catalyst for supplying solar power to longhouses and settlements, particularly in rural areas.
Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri (Dr) Abang Haji Abdul Rahman Zohari stated that, “In the past, they used diesel, which was burdensome. Today we can supply electricity to longhouses through the SARES project.”
Minister of Utilities & Telecommunication (MUT) Sarawak, YB Datuk Haji Julaihi bin Haji Narawi also believed that the government remains dedicated to provide 24-hours electrical supply facilities to inhabitants in rural areas that are not connected to the existing supply grid through the SARES project.
Furthermore, the Sarawak Government’s implementation of the Net Energy Metering (NEM) in March 2023 is an endeavor to enhance domestic solar energy usage in Sarawak.
NEM is a billing incentive that directly credits owners of PV systems for the electricity they feed into the grid which means the solar systems installed in residences will provide energy to the SEB grid line totally through NEM, but home users will nevertheless continue to rely on the main grid line.
The first NEM scheme in Sarawak will be applied in 15 units of housing premises in the first innovative smart housing premises in Sarawak known as Hainton Residences, nestled in the tranquil neighborhood of Samariang.
In addition, the benefits of solar energy in Sarawak:
- Reduce electricity bills
- Eco-friendly (reduce carbon footprint)
- Home investment
- Diverse application
- Free source of energy (sunlight)
According to Datuk Haji Julaihi bin Haji Narawi, the Sarawak government intends to seek Federal government approval to amend the policy to the development of the existing solar energy sector, authorizing solar panels to be manufactured for domestic use in Sarawak.
This is because existing enterprises make solar panels for export and hopefully that one day the price of solar panels in Sarawak will be able to be reduced to a more affordable rate for customers or those interested in future schemes such as the NEM.
Thus, plenty of initiatives established by Sarawak’s government in enhancing the utilization of solar energy throughout the state is in line with Post COVID-19 Development Strategy (PCDS) 2030 which will bring greener Sarawak in future.
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