Energy for All scheme to open at end of the month

Energy for All scheme to open at end of the month

Community-owned power projects from renewable sources, known as Energy for All, will open for interested parties for co-investment by the end of this month after a months-long delay.

The scheme was not launched late last year as originally scheduled because of a lengthy preparation process. The coronavirus pandemic caused further delays.

But once the first phase of Energy for All is approved by the cabinet, which is expected to consider it tomorrow, private investors can apply to join the scheme.

Investors can obtain letters of application from the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), which will grant them licences, said Energy Minister Sontirat Sonthijirawong.

Energy for All aims to promote power plants powered by biomass, refuse-derived fuels and solar panels under a joint investment between community enterprises and investors.

A community will be given 30% preferred stock to own a power plant and can sell farm waste as fuel, while investors will operate the plant and supply electricity to the state grid.

The government plans to have a combined capacity of 1,000 megawatts under the scheme from this year to 2023. The first phase of the scheme, called Quick Win, is set to generate 100MW.

Quick Win refers to power plants currently under construction or those yet to begin commercial operation. Many operators were granted permission by the ERC to run renewable power plants years ago, but they could not complete the projects.

Mr Sontirat said these delayed power plants, especially those under construction, will be selected to join the first phase.

The scheme is a measure the government will use to soothe economic wounds post-pandemic, he said, stressing a need to quickly translate policy into action, as each power plant requires 3-4 years to operate.

Tanachai Bunditvorapoom, chief executive of Absolute Clean Energy Plc, Thailand's largest biomass power operator, said his company is ready for the new venture as it prepares to expand the business through Energy for All.

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