Is Malaysia ready to leave coal behind?

by Darya Ebrahimi


For decades now, to generate electricity Malaysia has relied heavily on coal resources. As per the statistics released in 2020, approximately 66% of the electricity produced in peninsular Malaysia is by TNB by means of imported coal from neighbouring countries such as Indonesia and Australia. This not only has an adverse impact on the environment but the value of the ringgit.

Ironically enough, Malaysia is abundant in natural resources, with high annual rainfall and plenty of solar energy. Environmental experts have previously stated that Malaysia should and can use these resources to fulfil sustainable development by boosting the nation’s energy policies. The country has previously stated that their goal is to become a carbon neutral nation by the year 2050.


It is noteworthy to mention that coal prices are also on a rise, and nearly 93% of the electricity supplied to Peninsular Malaysia is supplied by coal and natural gas utilisation. This means, with rising coal prices, the nationa;s power generation industry is bound to experience some pressure. This is evidently a gap within the energy policy that Malaysia needs to address, as the world moves towards alternative forms of energy, so should Malaysia. A dependency on fossil fuels is an insistence on the current energy policies that might prove to be detrimental to the country socioeconomically.

In July of 2025 plans by the government revealed a goal of reaching 40% renewable energy usage by 2035. As per the statements released by The Energy and Natural Resources Ministry deputy minister Datuk Ali Biju, 23% of the renewable energy installation has been completed. This change has been guided by the Renewable Energy Roadmap, which narrows in focus on highlighting the importance of energy forms such as solar, biomass, biogas and hydro in integrating them into the country’s energy supply system sustainably.

The proposed transition to clean energy in the power sector will require RM 53 billion in direct investment while simultaneously creating 47,000 job opportunities in the process of reducing 60% carbon intensity in 2035.