Renewable Energy Act expected to come into force by June next year

KOTA KINABALU: The bill on the Renewable Energy Act is expected to be tabled in Parliament before year-end, with the Act coming into force by June next year.

Energy, Green Technology and Water Ministry's Undersecretary of the Sustainable Energy Division, Badriyah Abdul Malek, said the Feed-in Tariff (FiT) mechanism is therefore expected to be implemented at the same time.

FiT is a mechanism that allows electricity produced from indigenous renewable energy resources to be sold to power utilities at a fixed premium price and for specific duration.

"The bill is now completed and submitted to the Attorney-General. So we expect the bill to be tabled for first reading between the October and December session," she told reporters after the Investment Opportunities in Renewable Energy Seminar and Dialogue with Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Tan Sri Bernard Dompok here on Wednesday, Oct 20.

"At the same time, we will also table the Sustainable Energy Development Authority (SEDA) Bill, which is to institute the establishment of SEDA Malaysia, the authority to spearhead renewable energy development in Malaysia," Badriyah said.

"We expect the second and third reading in March, and the Act enforced probably in May or June next year, so the FiT will also come on board in May or June 2011," she said.

In response to a question, Badriyah said that for Sabah, it had been estimated that more than 100 megawatts of electricity could be obtained from variable sources such as biomass, biogas and also solar energy.

Concerning the dialogue, Dompok said majority of the 70 participants present from the palm oil industry were waiting for implementation of the Act to see the tariff revised, as the present tariff of 21 sen per unit was considered low.

"That's the general view. The government, of course, will be prepared to look at the increase. But in this area, I am not going to say much more than that because the Energy, Green Technology and Water Ministry will make the necessary announcement," he said.

Dompok said the outcome of today's dialogue also recognised that the oil palm industry could not replace the electricity production from Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd but it was important to look into renewable energy opportunities to meet the challenges of electricity supply in the state. — Bernama
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