Ingenieur Vol. 75 ingenieur July 2018-FA - Page 18

INGENIEUR ‟ RE technologies have now matured and can compete with fossil fuel systems on their own, without any subsidies. However, there are several issues which need to be addressed to further increase the contribution of RE to the power sector. cost or avoided cost (the portion of the cost which the utility will bear) has remained constant since 2014. FiT was only supposed to kick-start the RE Industry, and not become a permanent feature. To cater for this, two new mechanisms have been introduced, Large Scale Solar (LSS) by bidding and Net Energy Metering (NEM), including Self-Consumption (Selfco) , to cater for the huge opportunities still available for solar PV. Large Scale Solar by Bidding The LSS has been entrusted to the Energy Commission (EC) for implementation. The EC has decided to implement this scheme for both ground-mounted and rooftop installations for capacities ranging from 1 MWac to 50 MWac (reduced to 30 MWac for the second round of bidding). It has had a mixed success where some smaller plants connected to the distribution network have been commissioned but no large plants (30 MWac and above) for connection to the transmission network have yet been commissioned. There have also been no plants commissioned in Sabah due to the utility’s reluctance to sign the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). Although the mechanism is good, we cannot simply follow the example of countries like India, China, and the Middle East, where there are huge tracts of desert or other unusable land. We have limited land and this scheme should target smaller systems, say up to a maximum of 10 MWac, for installation on rooftops, reservoirs/lakes, and other dead space. The connection to the Grid should only be at the distribution network. 6 16 VOL VOL 75 55 JULY-SEPTEMBER JUNE 2013 2018 Net Energy Metering Under this scheme, which is also regulated by the EC but implemented by Seda, consumers who install PV systems on their roof first use it for their own consumption and the balance is exported to the utility. Although the name suggests otherwise, the exported energy is not credited in terms of kWh subtracted from the monthly consumption, but credit is given at a lower rate, i.e. the prevailing displaced cost. Consumers who wish to install PV systems under NEM first have to get approval from the utility before Seda can approve the system. Self-Consumption This is a sub-set of NEM for consumers who intend to use all the energy generated from their own PV systems. However, the installation is limited to 75% of the MD, and the EC still requires customers to get approval from the utility although the system is entirely for self-consumption, with safeguards like Reverse Power Relays (RPR) in place. ISSUES IN GENERATING AND DISTRIBUTING POWER FROM RENEWABLES As mentioned earlier, FiT is a temporary mechanism to kickstart the RE Industry; it was never intended to be a permanent feature since subsidy schemes are not sustainable over the long term. RE technologies have now matured and can compete with fossil fuel systems on their own, without any subsidies. However, there are several issues which need to be addressed