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政府必须提供更多奖励诱因来扩大马来西亚太阳能发电的需求和市场

 (2018年1月29日)行动党政治教育局副主任兼沙登区国会议员王建民博士的媒体声明

尽管首相去年9月访问白宫之旅获得部分好评[1],但这一切却无阻美国对马来西亚制造的太阳能电板提出30巴仙的关税。[2] 当然,我国也将透过世界贸易组织(WTO)的管道来挑战美国的这项决定。从马来西亚太阳能电板厂商对美国市场的依赖程度也反映出了一个可悲的事实。由于国内能源,绿色科技和水源部(KeTTHa)及可持续能源发展局(SEDA)的无能,包括缺乏提供适当的奖励诱因来扶持本地市场对太阳能发电的需求。

根据SEDA官网的资料,目前马来西亚太阳能发电的总容量为357兆瓦,占了总发电容量约27,000兆瓦的1.3%。太阳能电板厂商经常抱怨国内的电力收购制(Feed-In Tarrif)的配额不足。想要在家中或工厂的屋顶上安装太阳能电板的本地顾客,常收到厂商FiT配额不足的通知。后来,政府在2017年决定推行净电能计量(NEM)的政策,目的是为了“解决”太阳能发电FIT短缺的问题。有安装太阳能电板的消费者无需FiT配额的情况下,也可以将多余的太阳能电量直接卖给国家能源公司(TNB)。令人遗憾的是,KeTTHa决定在2016年到2020年的期间,只给NEM提供了500兆瓦的电量,即每年约100兆瓦电量。

根据SEDA官网,截止今日,半岛和沙巴的NEM的固打申请仅有8.69兆瓦电量。(参阅图1)

1:大马半岛和沙巴的NEM固打余额和已被申请的发电量(截止2018129日)

Source: SEDA NEM Monitoring website (https://services.seda.gov.my/nem/auth/login)

NEM固打面对申请不如预期或许有以下两个原因。

首先,我们所生产的太阳能电量只能卖区区每千瓦时31仙。(对少于4千瓦电量的装置,FiT所提供的回扣额是67 )相比之下,我们从国家能源公司买进的电量的价格表,分别是21.8仙(首200千瓦时),33.4仙(下一个100千瓦时),51.6仙(下一个300千瓦时)和57.1仙(900千瓦时以上)。

由于净电表计算方程式是我们的用电总量或TNB的电量价格表 (平均38仙每千瓦时)减掉我们通过太阳能发电所产生的电量或我们卖给TNB的多余电量(31仙每千瓦时)。因此,只要我们每月用超过300千瓦电量时,我们很大可能需贴钱给TNB,而非从生产太阳能电量来赚钱。(参阅图2)

图2:NEM政策下的净电表计算方程式

其次,假设总电量为净值,即从太阳能电板所产生的电量多于家里所消耗的电量,该余额将存入该消费者的账户。可是,该名消费者无法从中提现,例如用于抵销太阳能电板的装置成本。另外,这些余额的有效期限为24个月,否则逾期后将自动取消。

试想想若某个家庭用户每月耗电量都少于200千瓦时和同时装上12千瓦时太阳能发电系统。该用户将从太阳能生产可观的电量,并每年累积数千令吉的余额。在现有的政策底下,这些余额将在2年后自动被“浪费”掉。

基于上述两项理由,可见人们在NEM政策下安装太阳能电板的回报率是非常低,市场并没有足够的奖励诱因来吸引本地消费者来大量安装太阳能电板。NEM固打申请的乏人问津,代表生产和安装太阳能电板的厂商在本地的生意额有限。本地的市场规模无法增长,也无从带动太阳能产业的新工作。纽约时报记者就撰写了这篇报道来探讨特朗普新关税政策对来自外国的太阳能电板厂商所造成的冲击。[3]
根据美国太阳能产业协会,太阳能板制造只占了所有相关域的工作的一部分。全美共有高达260,000名美国人在域里工作,但是当中2000名工是参与制造太阳能电池和模板。

实际上,更多员工会参与太阳能科技相关领域的工作,如制造支撑面向太阳电板的铁架。这还包括无数负责安装和维护太阳能发电装置的工作人员。这些都是劳工密集型和过程难以自动化的工作。”(粗体和斜体句子是我的注解)

KeTTHa限制NEM的固打申请,提供如此低的太阳能生产电量回购费和限制电量净余额转化为现金等举动可视为维护TNB的利益和限制太阳能产业所能加速在销售,营销,安装等方面的新工作机会。

由于马来西亚市场短时间内无法取代马来西亚太阳能电板厂商在美国约每年3789兆瓦电量的新能源市场[4],我国政府所能采取的具体措施是提供本地厂商更多财政诱因来扩大本地市场,以便减缓美国提高关税所带来的冲击。

早前很多人嘲讽希望联盟承诺新政府将在5年内提供1百万高素质工作。在此,我们就能清晰地提供希望联盟创作1百万高素质工作的方案,不偏袒赚得盆满钵盈的垄断企业(如国家能源公司),照顾消费者的福利,创造收入高和不容易被自动化的好工作。

[1] http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/why-najibs-washingtoon-visit-was-a-success#KEquypP12SBRxc5K.97

[2] https://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2018/01/25/malaysia-pv-exporters-to-be-impacted-by-us-tariffs/

[3] https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/23/us/politics/trump-solar-tariffs.html

[4] https://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2018/01/25/malaysia-pv-exporters-to-be-impacted-by-us-tariffs/#xZ8cixcwjFrQ0pTc.99

The government must increase financial incentives to grow the demand for Solar PVs in Malaysia

Media Statement by Dr. Ong Kian Ming, Member of Parliament for Serdang and Assistant National Director for Political Education for the DAP, on the 29th of January 2018

Despite Prime Minister Najib’s visit to the White House in September last year, which some touted as a success[1], it was not able to prevent the United States from slapping a 30% tariff on solar photovoltaics (PVs) which are made in Malaysia.[2] This decision, announced on the 22nd of January, will no doubt be challenged in the World Trade Organization (WTO). But the extent of reliance of Malaysian-based solar PVs manufacturers on the US market also reveals the sad fact that the domestic market for solar PVs have been seriously held back by the inability of the Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water (KeTTHa) as well as the Sustainable Energy Development Authority (SEDA) from providing the right financial incentives to grow the local demand for solar PVs.

According to the SEDA website, the total installed capacity for solar PVs in Malaysia currently stands at 357 MW which is approximately 1.3% of the total installed energy capacity of approximately 27,000MW. Those in the solar PV industry regularly complain about the shortage of the Feed-in-Tariff (FiT) quota for solar PVs. Customers who want to install solar PVs on the roofs of their homes or factories regularly are disappointed when the solar PV installers tell them that they failed to obtain the FiT quota. The move to Net Energy Metering (NEM), implemented in 2017, was supposed to ‘solve’ the shortage of the FIT for Solar PVs by allowing consumers with solar PVs to sell directly into the grid to Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) without needing to have an FIT quota. Sadly, KeTTHa only allocated 500MW from 2016 to 2020, with a maximum of 100MW per year, as the maximum allowable capacity to be installed under NEM.

According to SEDA’s NEM website[3], as of today (29th of January, 2018), the total amount of the NEM quota taken up is a disappointingly low 8.69 MW for Peninsular Malaysia and Sabah (Figure 1 below).

Figure 1: Net Energy Metering (NEM) Quota Balance and Quota Taken up for Peninsular Malaysia and Sabah (as of 29th of January 2018)

Source: SEDA NEM Monitoring website (https://services.seda.gov.my/nem/auth/login)

The reason for this low uptake in the NEM applications is two-fold.

Firstly, the rate at which we can ‘sell back’ energy produced by the solar PVs is extremely low at 31 sen per kWh. (The FIT rates start at 67 sen for installations less than 4kW) By comparison, we have to ‘buy’ energy from TNB at a tiered tariff rate of 21.8 sen (first 200kWh), 33.4 sen (next 100kWh), 51.6 sen (next 300kWh), 54.6 sen (next 300kWh) and 57.1 sen (above 900kWh).

Since the net billing formula is the amount of electricity we used * the TNB tariff rate (which averages 38 sen per kWh) minus the amount of electricity we generate via the Solar PV * the tariff rate we sell back to TNB (or other wise known as the displaced cost which is 31 sen per kWh), as long as we use more than 300kWH per month, we will likely have to pay TNB rather than TNB paying us for generating electricity. (See Figure 2 below)

Figure 2: Net Billing formula under NEM

Secondly, in the event that the value of electricity generated by the solar PV system in a month is more than the value of electricity consumed i.e. net billing is positive, this amount will be credited into the TNB account of the consumer. The consumer cannot ‘take out’ this credit from the TNB account and use it as cash to, let’s say, pay off the cost of installing the solar PV system. And this credit can only remain in the account for a period of 24 months, after which the credit will be forfeited.

Imagine a situation of an energy efficient household which uses less than 200kWH per month and which has installed a 12kWh system. This household may be able to generate a significant amount of energy via the solar PV system and hence, accumulate a significant amount of credits of thousands of Ringgit a year. Basically, under the current system, all of these credits be ‘wasted’ and flushed down the drain after 2 years.

For both of the reasons outlined above, the rate of return for installing solar PVs under the NEM is very low which means there is little incentive for consumers in Malaysia to install solar PVs in large numbers. The low take-up of the NEM for solar PVs means that companies selling solar PVs and companies which install solar PVs have very little business in Malaysia. This translates into a lower number of jobs which should have been created as a result of the expansion of the solar PV market in Malaysia. The New York Times wrote the following in an article evaluating the impact of the Trump tariff on foreign made solar PVs[4]:

“Solar manufacturing now represents just a fraction of the overall jobs that have developed around the solar industry. More than 260,000 Americans are employed in the sector, but fewer than 2,000 of those employed in the United States are manufacturing solar cells and modules, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association.

Far more workers are employed in areas that underpin the use of solar technology, such as making steel racks that angle the panels toward the sun. And the bulk of workers in the solar industry install and maintain the projects, a process that is labor-intensive and hard to automate.(bold and italics are mine)

By restricting the amount of the quota under the NEM and having such a low price for solar PV generated electricity which is sold back to TNB and for not allowing the credits to be converted into cash, KeTTHa is protecting the profits of TNB and restricting the growth of good quality jobs in solar PV sales, marketing and installation that can employ skilled Malaysians at good wages.

While the domestic market in Malaysia cannot currently replace the US market for made in Malaysia solar PVs of 3,789 MW a year[5], one of the concrete steps which the government can take in the meantime to lessen the impact of the hike in the US tariff is to increase the financial incentives for solar PVs in Malaysia so as to grow the domestic market.

Many people scoffed at the promise by Pakatan Harapan’s Youth Wings to create 1 million good quality jobs in 5 years of a new PH government. This is a clear-cut case of how some of these 1 million good quality jobs can be created under a PH government which does not protect the excessive profits of monopolies like TNB but values the welfare of consumers and the creation of jobs which pay good wages and are not easily automated.

 

[1] http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/why-najibs-washingtoon-visit-was-a-success#KEquypP12SBRxc5K.97

[2] https://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2018/01/25/malaysia-pv-exporters-to-be-impacted-by-us-tariffs/

[3] https://services.seda.gov.my/nem/auth/login

[4] https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/23/us/politics/trump-solar-tariffs.html

[5] https://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2018/01/25/malaysia-pv-exporters-to-be-impacted-by-us-tariffs/#xZ8cixcwjFrQ0pTc.99

选举委员会或首相是否会继续不择手段地来尝试通过不公违宪的雪兰莪州选区重划建议书?

(2018年1月18日)行动党政治教育局副主任兼沙登区国会议员王建民博士的媒体声明

选举委员会或首相是否会继续不择手段地来尝试通过不公违宪的雪兰莪州选区重划建议书?

尽管雪州的第二次选区重划建议没有成功缩减国会和州议席的选民人数差距[1],甚至是在多个州 选区涉嫌以族群之分来进行重划工作[2],令人诧异的是,选委会竟然选择重用第13届大选中所采用的选民册。这不禁令人好奇选委会此举背后的原因?

选委会是否有认真参考第一次选区重划建议后的听证会上所出现的反对意见呢?对此,我是持有怀疑的态度,因为许多人就针对州选区和国会选区之间的选民人数的差距提出投诉。选委会其实可以跟进这些投诉来缩减斯里沙登(74,563名选民 )和金銮(34,910名选民)州选区的选民人数差距(两个都属于蒲种国会议席)。但选委会却选择像第13届大选一样来维持两个州选区的边界,并允许这种人数差距的问题继续存在。

有鉴于选委会对公众和在野党的反馈意见普遍上都给予非常消极的反应(尤其是大多数反对意见都是由在野党提出或处理),因此这次在雪兰莪部分U转举动的背后肯定还有其他原因。

其中的可能性包括,选委会担心若维持第1次的选区重划建议,州政府或选民针对雪州选区重划建议所提出的法庭诉讼,将会推迟雪州的选区重划工作(进而影响整个马来西亚半岛的选区重划计划)。选委会扩大国会和州议席之间选民人数差距的举动太惹议和备受法律方面的挑战。 雪州政府随时可以针对第2次重划建议追加新的法庭禁令,或在上诉庭针对第1次重划建议上诉成功。因此,选委会为了防患未然,尤其避免牵涉到北灵和南灵的国会议席争议,因此才希望恢复到第13届大选的选区划分范围。

选委会可能认为保留雪州大部分选区边界的举动是值得的,因为马来半岛其他州的选区划重划的通过足以为国阵带来了恰好的选举优势。这便是我对选委会此举所作出最“大方”的解读。

当然,这并不意味着在第2次展示所提出的选区重划建议是最终决定。选委会可能希望在野党会因第13届大选的选区边界大都得以维持而感到自满,进而不提出任何异议。在缺少在野党的反对,但是若国阵针对第2次选区重划建议提出反对声音,并要求恢复第1次选区重划建议时,那选委会可能会借此机会将提成第1次重划建议給首相。

即使反对雪州第2次重划建议的声音很少,选委会其实仍然可以单方面恢复到第 1次的选区重划建议。当然,这也意味着选委会的举动是非常没有诚信的。但是在野党真正的问题是,选区划分的最终建议版本只能拖到2018年3月或 4月的国会才会被公开的。到了那个时候,一旦建议被提呈国会,我们要通过法律上诉的机会可能已为时已晚。

我们也不排除另一种可能性。也就是联邦宪法第13条第9款赋予首相修改选区重划建议的权力。(参阅下图1)。

1: 联邦宪法第13条第9款赋予首相权利来修改选委会所提呈的选区重划建议

由于国阵很渴望能赢回雪州政权,反而这将是可能性最高的结果。选委会可以通过把责任完全推给首相来免除自己的恶意举动,而首相也可以在联邦宪法所赋予自己的权力范围内行事,尽管此举会推翻整个选区重划和公开听证的程序正义。

我们又能做些什么事情来阻止类似的事情发生呢?首先,针对雪州第2次选区重划建议所提出的反对声音越多越好。 这将导致选委会第2次公开听证会的时间拖得较长,并将整个过程推迟到三月或四月国会会议结束后,从而阻止选委会及时向国会提成选区重划的建议。其次,雪州政府可以继续向法庭提出法律诉讼,包括向第2次选区重划建议提出禁制令,并继续向上诉法院挑战雪州选区划分不公的行为。唯有透过共同一致的努力,我们才有机会推迟2018年3月或 4月国会尝试通过不公正和违宪的选区重划工作。

[1] http://ongkianming.com/2018/01/16/media-statement-the-delimitation-exercise-in-selangor-is-still-unfair-and-unconstitutional/

[2] http://ongkianming.com/2018/01/17/the-selangor-delimitation-exercise-is-guilty-of-ethnic-gerrymandering/