The History of Electricity

By January 4, 2021 No Comments

In 1894, the first electric generator in British Malaya was installed in Rawang to support the mining industry, making Rawang the first location to be electrified in Malaysia. Numerous electrified tin mines were operated by Loke Yew and K. Thamboosamy Pillay, who both contributed significantly to the growth of Rawang. With Rawang being the first town in Malaya to utilize electricity for tin mining, it was also the first town to have electric street lights, and the Rawang Railway Station was the first railway station in Malaya that had an electricity supply to power the lamps and fans. The first power plant was only built six years later in Raub, Pahang, in 1900 by an Australian gold mining company. However, without access by households. Houses were only able to get electricity for the first time in 1920.

As industrial and domestic demand grew, so did the construction of new power plants and power stations. After World War II, the British formed the Central Electricity Board (CEB) to expand power production in Malaya. At first, only major towns and cities got electricity. But the CEB started a rural electrification scheme during the Communist Insurgency by using diesel generators to power lights along the perimeters of New Villages. By 1963, there are four main public utility companies namely PRHEP, George Town’s City Council, Huttenbachs and CEB. In1965, CEB was renamed Lembaga Letrik Malaysia (LLN) LLN started acquiring assets from other the companies to form a unified National Grid in Peninsula Malaysia which was completed in the 1980’s. Finally, in 1990, LLN was replaced with a government-owned private company, Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB).

Climate change has become a hot topic these few years. Factors like global warming, greenhouse gas emission and loss of biodiversity have gradually increased. Also, the world population is expected to increase by at least 50%. Beyond 2030, fossil fuels will not be able to keep up with world energy demands. Moreover, Malaysia do not produce coal. If we still rely heavily on coal, we will face a very serious problem when coal is completely depleted. Thus, we have to find an alternative energy source which is replenishable. The price of solar energy in Malaysia had met the grid parity where solar energy can generate power at a levelized cost of electricity that is less than the price of fossil fuel from the electricity grid. To foster sustainable and low-emission development, Malaysia is establishing ambitious renewable energy targets for electricity supply. Because solar tend to be more variable and unlimited supply than conventional sources, meeting these targets will involve changes to power system planning and operations.