Hello everyone! We meet again for another blog post regarding SEDA Malaysia site visit to Melaka recently. I would like to write about a visit to AUO Sunpower Sdn. Bhd. on the 18th of January 2014 with other bloggers and media representatives. Right after we left COOLTEK Home, we headed to Melaka World Solar Valley in Alor Gajah with 40 acres of land occupied by AUO Sunpower Sdn. Bhd. or better known as AUSP.
The company is a world leader in solar cell manufacturing and it exports solar cells to regional offices and assembled as solar panels. We had a briefing session with Puan Roslawanis Husani to better understand how the company works in supporting renewable energy and energy efficiency effort in the country and worldwide.
|Puan Roslawanis gave her briefing on how the company operates.|
With 2,000 Malaysian workers at this solar cell manufacturing plant, AUSP strives to exceed customers’ expectations by delivering world class products and services at competitive prices through innovation, operational excellence and continual development. As most of you know, solar cells convert sunlight directly into electricity and an individual photo-voltaic (PV) cells are grouped into panels that can be used in a wide range of application to generate its own energy.
|Dr. Wei-nee from SEDA Malaysia with the solar panels produced by AUO Sunpower|
We use solar PVs because the sunlight is free, the process emits no noise, no harmful emission or polluting gases with PV systems are guaranteed to be safe and highly reliable with 20-25 years of warranty. Malaysia is blessed because we are situated near the equator and that means we have a better power generation and exposure to the sun. Many of us misunderstood that we cannot generate electricity on a cloudy day but AUSP representative claimed that we can still produce electricity but the amount would be slightly lower than in normal days.
Why do we need to shift from traditional energy generation from fossil fuels to renewable energy produced by solar panels? You must remember that diesel and petroleum used to generate the energy can be harmful to the environment and the price will be truly expensive once the resources are depleting. The importance of the renewable energy sector in Malaysia has been recognized since the Eight Malaysia Plan when the Five Fuel Policy was introduced in 2001 to include alternative sources of energy in our daily consumption. The development of renewable energy in Malaysia were a bit slow given the fact that it took so many years before it was actually implemented in the national level. In 2011, Sustainable Energy Development Authority (SEDA) Malaysia is finally formed under the Sustainable Energy Development Authority Act 2011 [Act 726]. SEDA Malaysia becomes the implementer of the Feed-in Tariff program for the development of Renewable Energy in Malaysia.Now let us go back to the revolutionary solar cell technology development set up by AUSP in its local plant in Melaka.
Solar cells are recognized not only as a mean for providing power but it also significantly diminishes the impact of environmental damage caused by conventional electricity generation in advanced industrial countries. A solar cell in an electrical device directly converts sunlight into electricity and this process requires a material in which the absorption of light raises an electron to a higher energy state and the movement of this higher energy electron from the solar cell into an external circuit. The basic steps in the operation of a solar cell are:
-the generation of light-generated carriers,
-the collection of the light-generated carriers to generate a current,
-the generation of a large voltage across the P-region and N-region
-the dissipation of power in the load and in parasitic resistances.
Solar cell products by AUSP are efficient because AUO SunPower’s all-back contact n-type solar cell design is patented, hard to replicate, and provides industry leading efficiencies of up to 22.5%. With its superior performance and aesthetics value, it can generate up to 50% more power in a uniformly black and attractive design. AUO SunPower cells deliver most energy and customers can benefit from lower electric bills, higher carbon emissions savings and a superior appearance. It offers efficiencies of approximately 22.5% or about 3.4 watts per cell in the world.
AUSP installed solar PV cells for Apple office in California to help back up i-cloud storage of Apple users around the world if the electricity shuts down unexpectedly in that area. Among its worldwide projects are Olivenza Solar Power Plant, Badajoz (18 mw), Serpa Power Plant, Serpa (11 mw), Bavaria Solar Park, Bavaria (10 mw) and Nevada, United States of America military air force base for security reasons. Such incredible journey paved by AUSP in the world level because the solar cells are made in Melaka by our local people; surely something to be proud of! And believe it or not, you have to wait for 2 years if you want to purchase the solar cells by AUSP because the company is now busy meeting the demands for 11 highly-developed countries. Amazing!
You can apply for the Feed-in Tariff mechanism by SEDA Malaysia if you want to install solar panels on the rooftops of your house of commercial buildings. Let me review about the mechanism so that you can take part in promoting renewable energy and energy efficiency effort because you can generate a handsome income by joining this program by SEDA Malaysia.
Malaysia’s Feed-in Tariff system requires the Distribution Licensees (DLs) such as Tenaga Nasional Berhad and this year's addition of Sabah Electricity Sdn. Bhd. (SESB) and NUR Distribution Sdn. Bhd (NUR) to buy from renewable energy producers the electricity produced from renewable resources by them. FiT rates are set by SEDA Malaysia with approval from KeTTHA to pay for the renewable energy supplied to the electricity grid for a specific duration. By having access to the grid and setting a favorable price per unit of renewable energy, the FiT mechanism also ensures that renewable energy becomes a viable and sound long-term investment for companies, industries and individuals. This can happen very easily if consumers are registered under SEDA Malaysia as one of the producers of renewable energy through solar panels, small hydro power, biomass and biogas at their homes or private lands.
The Cabinet has also agreed for the 1% surcharge on consumers’ electricity bills that has been gazetted and collected from consumers. This 1% surcharge is needed to achieve the target capacity of renewable energy in the long run. As of 2013, 1% surcharge is still imposed on all TNB’s electricity customers and domestic electricity consumers are obliged to contribute to the surcharge only if their monthly electricity consumption exceeds 300 kWh or RM 77 a month. This money is channelled into the Renewable Energy Fund and administered by SEDA Malaysia to pay the premium Feed-in Tariff rate to those producers who generate electricity from renewable resources at homes or in industrial companies.
But as of January 2014, this surcharge will increase by 0.6% to be 1.6 % for current electricity users. This increase will also affect the consumers in Sabah and Wilayah Persekutuan Labuan as they are charged with 1.6% of their electricity bills for the first time. Please refer to www.seda.gov.my for more news and information if you are interested in taking part. Thank you everyone for reading this and hopefully you gain insights about the roles played by SEDA Malaysia in promoting sustainable energy and energy efficiency effort in the country. Take care and God bless!