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 42% in 2022. Clean energy sources other than hydro are left largely untapped, with solar only representing just 1.1% of total electricity generated in 2022. There is no wind development in Malaysia.

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 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: May 2023

Progress towards 1.5C power sector benchmarks