â€œIt began when Ko Chuan Zhen came across an article revealing the maturity of renewable energy, the movement of global investment into the industry and how it will be the next big thing in Asia. At that time, no one in Malaysia believed in renewable energy, treating the technology like an experimental prototype from the lab.
Wanting to capitalise on the rising green energy trend in the country, the three of us banded together to form a consultancy firm, Leaf Energy, in 2012, that provided project management consultancy services to the industry. Quickly gaining resources, we soon established Plus Solar Systems, a clean energy solution company that provides engineering, finance, procurement and construction works. Then, we established an investment firm, Leaf Solar, in 2015 to develop and build solar plants, which have resulted in the company owning several solar plants in Kedah and Penang. Today, about 13 per cent of solar energy in Malaysia is commissioned by the Plus Solar engineering team. Following the expansion of our business, we set up Plus Solar Singapore to tap into the regional South-East Asian market.
Despite our rapid expansion, itâ€™s challenging to build a competitive company with a sustainable business model in the clean energy industry. This industry has huge potential as there are several new technologies slated to replace traditional energy sources. However, it is tough to change the model overnight as the global power infrastructure is a matured scene. High entry cost, coupled with low public awareness, makes it tough for us to push the solution to the mass market. Fortunately, through the governmentâ€™s clean energy subsidies programme, we were able to run the clean technology from a purely green solution into a business cost-saving solution that is advantageous to business owners as well as utility scale players.
One day in the near future, clean technology will replace traditional energy source and Plus Solar will be the company significantly contributing in this energy revolution
We believe that 2017 will be an exciting year in the solar energy industry for Malaysia as we are one of the biggest markets in South-East Asia today. Leveraging on this, Plus Solar will be focusing on providing solar business solutions to commercial and industrial owners as well as providing a utility scale power plant solution to the market. We target to help more SME businesses and MNCs minimise their operation costs as well as help reduce their taxes via the Green Investment Tax Allowance (GITA), which is promoted by the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA). Besides that, we are also supporting companies to develop, design and build solar power plants on the ground, so they can sell the solar energy back to the grid for 21 years â€“ an exciting new way of being a lucrative independent power producer with clean technology.â€
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This article first appeared in the June 2017 issue of The Peak Malaysia.