Published : Monday, December 5th, 2011
By : The Star
The Sustainable Energy Development Authority Malaysia (Seda) saw a flurry of applications for Feed-in Tariff (FiT) and the number of applications has been increasing.
As of 10am yesterday, there was a total of 229 applications compared with 168 applications received at noon on Thursday. Out of the 229 applications, 201 applied for solar photovoltaic (PV), nine applications each for biomass and small hydro while biogas received 10 applications.
According to the Seda portal, there is only a balance of 9.23MW for solar energy from the quota for individual applicants for the next three years.
For other renewable resources, the quota available between 2012 and 2014 are 57.35 MW for biogas, 15.88 (biogas-landfill), 91.97 MW (biomass), 80 MW (biomass-solid waste), and 99.73 MW (small hydro).
When contacted, Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Seri Peter Chin said he was not surprised by the interest shown in solar (PV) and that the quota was exhausted in a short time with only a small portion left for small household connections.
“As regards to other renewable energy sources such as biomass, biogas and mini hydro, the response or demand has been rather low and parties who are interested should look into these areas and submit their bids online,” he said.
Seda chief executive officer Badriyah Abdul Malek said when the e-FiT online system was released to public, the traffic on the servers was beyond what was anticipated during the stress test conducted on the system.
“There was a lot of incoming traffic which flooded the gateway to our servers and our ICT team had to change the queuing logic for the servers.”
“Whether the servers were under DDOS (distributed denial-of-service) attack or there were genuinely so many trying to access our servers remains to be investigated by our ICT team,” Badriyah says.
At the end of each half year, Seda would review the unallocated RE quota and decide how it can be utilised for the next half year.
In addition, Seda will also continuously monitor the trend of the market price of these renewable resources so that the FiT rates are adjusted to reflect current conditions as provided under Section 18 of the Renewable Energy Act 2011.
For applicants who have submitted their feed-in approval (FiA) applications, Seda will require 14 days for verification of submitted online documents, receive payment for application fees (only applicable to those RE systems larger than 72kW) and the submission of declaration form in compliance with legal requirement.
Seda will issue a FIA certificate once the verification process and procedures are completed.
Meanwhile, Malaysia Photovoltaic Industry Association president Shamsudin Khalid suggested that there should be a balloting system and the names of the winners should be published.
“Other countries have a cut off date and after the applications are submitted the authorities would review and process successful applications like what was done in Thailand, India and the other European countries. Digital technology is just a tool, but human intervention is still the master,” he says.
“With a 1% levy on the public for the Renewable Energy Fund, the public ought to know how the money is utilised,” he said.
With such a good response towards solar energy, the Government should grant a larger quota for solar which would produce spin-offs for the industry, he said.