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Examining the Small Renewable Energy Power (SREP) Program in Malaysia


  • Sovacool, Benjamin K.
  • Drupady, Ira Martina


The Small Renewable Energy Power (SREP) Program was the premier policy mechanism implemented by the national government to promote small-scale renewable electricity in Malaysia from 2001 to 2010. However, it managed meet less than 3 percent of its original goal by 2005. This study investigates what happened. More specifically, using a qualitative semi-structured interview approach with data presented in a narrative format, it answers the following five questions: (1) What are the primary energy policy and security challenges facing Malaysia? (2) What were the drivers behind the SREP in Malaysia? (3) What were the major benefits arising from the SREP? (4) What were the significant challenges to implementation? (5) What lessons or insights does the SREP offer for the study of energy policy design and implementation more generally? We find that the SREP failed to achieve its targets due to capacity caps, a lengthy approval process, lack of monitoring, exclusion of stakeholders, and few (if any) pre-feasibility studies. Other factors explaining its poor performance include opposition from the national utility Tenaga Nasional Berhad and electricity tariffs unmatched with true production costs.

Suggested Citation

  • Sovacool, Benjamin K. & Drupady, Ira Martina, 2011. "Examining the Small Renewable Energy Power (SREP) Program in Malaysia," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(11), pages 7244-7256.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:39:y:2011:i:11:p:7244-7256
    DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2011.08.045

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Sovacool, Benjamin K. & D'Agostino, Anthony L. & Jain Bambawale, Malavika, 2011. "The socio-technical barriers to Solar Home Systems (SHS) in Papua New Guinea: "Choosing pigs, prostitutes, and poker chips over panels"," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 1532-1542, March.
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    1. Shahmohammadi, M. Sadegh & Mohd. Yusuff, Rosnah & Keyhanian, Sina & Shakouri G., Hamed, 2015. "A decision support system for evaluating effects of Feed-in Tariff mechanism: Dynamic modeling of Malaysia’s electricity generation mix," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 146(C), pages 217-229.
    2. Kardooni, Roozbeh & Yusoff, Sumiani Binti & Kari, Fatimah Binti, 2016. "Renewable energy technology acceptance in Peninsular Malaysia," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 1-10.
    3. Petinrin, J.O. & Shaaban, Mohamed, 2015. "Renewable energy for continuous energy sustainability in Malaysia," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 967-981.
    4. Umar, Mohd Shaharin & Jennings, Philip & Urmee, Tania, 2014. "Sustainable electricity generation from oil palm biomass wastes in Malaysia: An industry survey," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 496-505.
    5. Samiran, Nor Afzanizam & Jaafar, Mohammad Nazri Mohd & Ng, Jo-Han & Lam, Su Shiung & Chong, Cheng Tung, 2016. "Progress in biomass gasification technique – With focus on Malaysian palm biomass for syngas production," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 1047-1062.
    6. Wong, S.L. & Ngadi, Norzita & Abdullah, Tuan Amran Tuan & Inuwa, I.M., 2015. "Recent advances of feed-in tariff in Malaysia," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 42-52.
    7. Khor, Cheng Seong & Lalchand, G., 2014. "A review on sustainable power generation in Malaysia to 2030: Historical perspective, current assessment, and future strategies," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 952-960.
    8. Abd Kadir, Sharifah Aishah Syed & Yin, Chun-Yang & Rosli Sulaiman, Muhamad & Chen, Xi & El-Harbawi, Mohanad, 2013. "Incineration of municipal solid waste in Malaysia: Salient issues, policies and waste-to-energy initiatives," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 181-186.
    9. Basri, Nor Afifah & Ramli, Ahmad Termizi & Aliyu, Abubakar Sadiq, 2015. "Malaysia energy strategy towards sustainability: A panoramic overview of the benefits and challenges," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 1094-1105.
    10. Umar, Mohd Shaharin & Jennings, Philip & Urmee, Tania, 2013. "Strengthening the palm oil biomass Renewable Energy industry in Malaysia," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 107-115.
    11. Ngoasong, Michael Zisuh, 2014. "How international oil and gas companies respond to local content policies in petroleum-producing developing countries: A narrative enquiry," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 471-479.
    12. Shafie, S.M. & Mahlia, T.M.I. & Masjuki, H.H. & Ahmad-Yazid, A., 2012. "A review on electricity generation based on biomass residue in Malaysia," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 16(8), pages 5879-5889.
    13. Fazeli, Alireza & Bakhtvar, Farzaneh & Jahanshaloo, Leila & Che Sidik, Nor Azwadi & Bayat, Ali Esfandyari, 2016. "Malaysia׳s stand on municipal solid waste conversion to energy: A review," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 1007-1016.
    14. Borhanazad, H. & Mekhilef, S. & Saidur, R. & Boroumandjazi, G., 2013. "Potential application of renewable energy for rural electrification in Malaysia," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 210-219.
    15. Yah, Nor F. & Oumer, Ahmed N. & Idris, Mat S., 2017. "Small scale hydro-power as a source of renewable energy in Malaysia: A review," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 228-239.
    16. Sovacool, Benjamin K. & Bulan, L.C., 2012. "Energy security and hydropower development in Malaysia: The drivers and challenges facing the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE)," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 113-129.
    17. repec:eee:renene:v:116:y:2018:i:pa:p:659-668 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Sovacool, Benjamin K., 2013. "Assessing energy security performance in the Asia Pacific, 1990–2010," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 17(C), pages 228-247.
    19. Hansen, Ulrich Elmer & Nygaard, Ivan, 2014. "Sustainable energy transitions in emerging economies: The formation of a palm oil biomass waste-to-energy niche in Malaysia 1990–2011," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 666-676.
    20. Khorasanizadeh, Hasti & Parkkinen, Jussi & Parthiban, Rajendran & David Moore, Joel, 2015. "Energy and economic benefits of LED adoption in Malaysia," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 629-637.


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