Phasing out coal has started - but needs to speed up

A gas-to-coal transition has taken place in the Malaysian power sector in recent years, leading to a sharp rise in the share of coal power from 6% in 2000 to 41% in 2019. Clean energy sources other than hydro, notably wind and solar, are left largely untapped, representing less than 2% of total electricity generated in 2019. 

Malaysia’s rising share of coal power is in stark contrast with China and India, where the share of coal power has already started falling, though not yet to the extent considered sufficient for limiting global heating to less than 1.5 degrees.  

Malaysia’s recent announcements of building no new coal plants and early retirement for existing coal capacity signal its intention to join global progress towards decarbonisation. But the jury is still out on whether the announced plans are consistent with a goal that keeps 1.5 degrees global heating within reach.

Last updated: March 2022

Progress towards clean power targets