An overview of palm oil biomass for power generation sector decarbonization in Malaysia: Progress, challenges, and prospects

Mohd F. M. A. Zamri, Jassinnee Milano, Abd H. Shamsuddin*, Mohd E. M. Roslan, Siti F. Salleh, Adlansyah A. Rahman, Raihana Bahru, Islam M. R. Fattah, T. M. Indra Mahlia

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
262 Downloads (Pure)


With the ever-increasing danger of climate change, power plants are shifting from polluting fossil fuels to sustainable bioenergy fuels. As Malaysia continues to pledge to decrease glasshouse gas (GHG) emissions, quick and dramatic action should resolve the reliance on fossil fuel power plants. Furthermore, the coal-fired power station is Malaysia's biggest supplier of energy and the final power plant to be decommissioned. In Malaysia, a significant portion of palm oil biomass has the potential to replace coal in the generation of renewable energy power. However, the deployment of palm oil biomass as a renewable energy source has not been fully achieved. Furthermore, the surplus of unutilized biomass from the palm oil milling process has emerged as the key talking point leading to environmental concerns. As estimated, this palm oil biomass can generate approximately 5000 MW of electricity under 40% of operation efficiency. This significant power potential has the ability to replace Malaysia's yearly reliance on coal. Nonetheless, the limitations of technological stability, budgetary constraints, and other government policy concerns have prevented the potentials from being fulfilled. This necessitates an integrated framework that synergizes the decarbonization drive in order to realize the primary advantages of energy renewability and carbon neutrality. Among the suggested actions to decarbonize the power generating sector is an integrated scheme of palm oil production, biogas plant for electricity and steam generation, and biofuel pellet manufacture. This review provides an in-depth overview of palm oil biomass for Malaysian power production decarbonization. This article is categorized under: Sustainable Energy > Bioenergy Climate and Environment > Net Zero Planning and Decarbonization Sustainable Development > Emerging Economies.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere437
JournalWiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Energy and Environment
Issue number4
Early online date17 Mar 2022
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022


  • bioenergy
  • palm oil biomass
  • power generation
  • synergetic decarbonization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Science(all)


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