Solar radiation based benefit and cost evaluation for solar water heater expansion in Malaysia

Ong Li Jing, Mohammed J.K. Bashir*, Jehng-Jung Kao

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Malaysia is highly depending on fossil fuel to produce electricity. Undesirably, the excessive usage of fossil fuels releases harmful gases which can cause serious environmental problems. A potential solution to curb the fossil fuel consumption and environmental problems is the utilization of renewable energy such as solar energy. Malaysia has abundant solar energy resources throughout the year due to its location near to equator, promises the highest beneficial in using solar energy for technology development such as solar water heater (SWH). However, people in Malaysia are not aware of SWH's benefits due to high initial installation cost of SWH. Thus, this study presents financial evaluation of SWH in Malaysia which takes into account cost benefit and payback period of using SWH. The benefits are reanalysed bases on annual effective solar radiation. The result reveals that the utilization of a SWH can save up to RM 704 of energy cost per year. The payback periods of a SWH in Malaysia vary from 7.4 to 10.7 years, depending on the initial installation cost of SWH. Promoting the use of SWH by all EWH's owners in Malaysia can save 2 billion kWh of electricity and notably prevent emissions of 1,560,370 t CO2, 11,830 t SO2, and 4930 t NOx per year.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)328-335
Number of pages8
JournalRenewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2015


  • Cost benefit analysis
  • Effective solar radiation
  • Environmental sustainability
  • Payback period analysis
  • Pollutant emissions reduction
  • Solar water heater (SWH)


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