Looser conditions for 2nd phase of renewables auction
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Looser conditions for 2nd phase of renewables auction

Many investors and energy authorities have called for new companies to be allowed to compete in the second auction as renewable power demand grows. Weerapat Kiatfuengfoo Director-general, Energy Policy and Planning Office

Energy officials are planning to relax the conditions for the second-phase auction of the renewable energy scheme as more new investors are required to develop clean energy, which is in great demand across the country, says the Energy Policy and Planning Office (Eppo).

The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), which organised the auction, is required to allow only companies that met the technical criteria, but failed to win rights to develop renewable energy in the first-phase auction of the scheme, to participate in the second phase.

However, this would limit the number of participants.

Eppo wants to allow new companies to compete for energy projects in the second-phase auction, said Weerapat Kiatfuengfoo, director-general of the office.

“Many investors and energy authorities have called for a change to this requirement based on growing demand for renewable power and an increasing number of companies diversifying into clean energy businesses,” said Mr Weerapat.

He said he expects the change to be made soon, then approved by the National Energy Policy Council.

The second-phase auction for the renewable scheme, with power generation capacity tallying 3.66 gigawatts, is expected to be scheduled for the second half of this year.

The scheme previously faced a delay, mainly because of legal conflicts involving companies that joined the first auction, although this problem is expected to be settled soon, according to Eppo.

The ERC set a capacity target for the first phase of 5.2GW, but the amount was eventually decreased to 4.8GW after 175 investors met the technical criteria and were granted the right to develop power plants.

Most of them signed power purchase agreements with the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat) and the Provincial Electricity Authority (PEA), the state power distribution arm.

Under the second-phase scheme, ERC aims to develop more solar and wind farms as well as waste-to-energy projects. Most of the capacity, accounting for 2.6GW, is to come from solar energy.

Renewable power generated in the second phase will be sold to Egat and the PEA between 2026 and 2030.

According to the ERC, the newly launched green utility tariff (GUT), which determines renewable power prices, will be applied to projects developed under the first and second phases of the renewables scheme.

The new tariff is divided into GUT 1 and GUT 2.

GUT 1 refers to the rates for existing renewable power generating facilities, including six hydropower plants operated by Egat. It applies to certain types of renewables.

GUT 2 refers to rates for new clean power developers, which are allowed to use various types of renewable energy.

GUT 1 rates are slightly higher than the current power tariff of 4.18 baht per kilowatt-hour (unit), while GUT 2 rates are estimated to be within a range of 4.55-4.56 baht a unit.

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