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Sales of rooftop solar power to begin

Deregulation approval expected next month

A solar panel installed on a commercial building in Nakhon Ratchasima province. New rules will open the door for detached houses, warehouses, factories and offices to sell their leftover solar power.

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The government will end the decade-long restriction on households and commercial buildings selling power generated by their solar rooftops to state utilities in the fourth quarter of the year.

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Households to sell solar power

Yuthana Praiwan

The government will end the decade-long restriction on households and commercial buildings selling power generated by their solar rooftops to state utilities in the fourth quarter of the year.

Deregulation will open the door for detached houses, warehouses, factories and offices to sell their leftover capacity to the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat).

The buying rate is being fixed at below 2.6 baht per kilowatt-hour, according to the Energy Ministry.

At present, private actors are allowed to sell power to Egat through auctions under the small power producer (SPP) or very small power producer (VSPP) project.

Energy Minister Anantaporn Karnchanarat said the government is considering granting licences to residents and building owners.

The total capacity to be allowed, however, has yet to be finalised.

The licences and deregulation come after the previous solar deregulation project was scrapped when the military government came into power.

Gen Anantaporn said this could be another opportunity to let other solar-related businesses grow.

Initially, the purchasing rate that the state utilities will pay for surplus solar power from residents will be below 2.6 baht per kilowatt-hour, cheaper than the fossil-based power Egat sells to consumers, which is about four baht per kilowatt-hour, he said.

The Department of Alternative Energy Development and Efficiency has been appointed to set up details and conditions for granting licences and the process to buy back power from the residents.

Gen Anantaporn said policymakers need to deliberate over details because there are several types of solar rooftop and different technologies -- resulting in different sizes of solar rooftop projects at different power costs -- before figuring out the regulation and licensing process.

Prasert Sinsukprasert, deputy director-general of the Energy Policy and Planning Office, said the regulations should be approved by October.

The Energy Ministry had assigned Chulalongkorn University's Energy Research Institute (ERI) the task of conducting a feasibility study of the plan. The ERI found that the deregulation of solar rooftops and letting people generate their own power would create minimal revenue losses for state utilities.

ERI researcher Sopitsuda Tongsopit said solar rooftops are expected to have a minimal effect on state utilities in generating backup power, as total power-generating capacity for solar remains small compared with the overall amount of electricity in the country's power supply system.

Thailand has 2,990 megawatts of solar power installed. Some 2,960MW, as of July, is from solar farms, while an additional 130MW is from rooftops.

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Vocabulary:

actors (noun): people or organisations that take part in a situation or process - ผู้กระทำ, ผู้ที่มีส่วนร่วมในการกระทำ

alternative energy (noun): fuels or energy sources that can be used instead of fossil fuels such as coal and oil, and instead of nuclear fuel, e.g. solar, wind, etc. - พลังงานทดแทน, พลังงานทางเลือก

appointed : officially chosen for a job - ถูกแต่งตั้ง

approved : given official agreement or permission - ได้รับการรับรองแล้ว

assign : to give someone a job to do - มอบหมาย, สั่งงาน

at present (adv): now...., currently .... - ในปัจจุบัน

auction : a usually public sale of goods or property, where people make higher and higher bids (= offers of money) for each thing, until the thing is sold to the person who will pay most - การขายโดยการประมูล, การขายทอดตลาด

backup : something that can be used when something else has failed or is not adequate - สำรอง

capacity : the amount of something that can be produced - ความสามารถในการ (ผลิต)

commercial : for business purposes - เกี่ยวกับการค้า

conditions : things that must be true or must be done before another thing can happen - เงื่อนไข

conduct : to do something in an organised way; to carry out — - ลงมือทำ, ดำเนิน, ปฏิบัติ

consider : to give careful thought to something before making a decision - พิจารณา

consumer : someone who buys and uses goods and services - ผู้บริโภค

decade : a period of ten years - ทศวรรษ

deliberate : to consider carefully, usually before making a decision - พิจารณา, ตรึกตรอง

deputy : a person whose rank is immediately below that of the leader of an organisation - รอง

deregulation (noun): the process of making a trade, business activity, etc. free from rules and controls - การลดกฎเกณฑ์, การผ่อนคลายกฎระเบียบ (ทางการค้า)

detached house (noun): a single house that is not joined to another - บ้านเดี่ยว

details : small facts or pieces of information relating to a situation - รายละเอียด

development : the gradual growth of something so that it becomes more advanced, stronger, etc - การพัฒนา

director-general : the head of a large organisation, especially a public organisation - อธิบดี

efficiency : the ability to work well and produce good results by using the available time, money, supplies etc in the most effective way - ความมีประสิทธิภาพ

Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat) : the state enterprise - รัฐวิสาหกิจ) that owns and manages the majority of Thailand's electricity generation capacity, as well as the nation's transmission network. การไฟฟ้าฝ่ายผลิตแห่งประเทศไทย

factory : a building or group of buildings where goods are made - โรงงาน

feasibility study (noun): when experts study in detail what is possible to achieve in a project or whether the project is possible - การศึกษาความเป็นไป

figure out : to be able to understand something or to solve a problem - คิดออก

finalise : to complete the last part of a plan, trip, project, etc - ทำให้เสร็จสมบูรณ์

fix (verb): to decide on a date, a time, an amount, etc. for something - กำหนด (วัน, เวลา, ราคา)

generate : to produce - ผลิต, ก่อให้เกิด

grant : to officially give something - ให้

household : a group of people, often a family, who live together - ครัวเรือน

initially : at first - ในเบื้องต้น

institute (noun): an organization that has a particular purpose, especially one that is connected with education or a particular profession; the building used by this organisation - สถาบัน,องค์การ,วิทยาลัย,สถาบันหนึ่งของมหาวิทยาลัย

kilowat-hour (noun): a measure of electrical energy equivalent to a power consumption of 1,000 watts for 1 hour -

leftover : remaining; continuing to be present; still existing - ยังเหลืออยู่

licence : an official document that gives someone permission to do or use something - ใบอนุญาต

megawatt (noun): a unit for measuring electrical power; one million watts - หนึ่งร้อยล้านวัตต์ (คำย่อคือ MW)

military (adj): connected with soldiers or the armed forces - ในทางทหาร,เกี่ยวกับทหาร

minimal : very small in amount - น้อยที่สุด, น้อยมาก

ministry : a government department that has a particular area of responsibility - กระทรวง

opportunity (noun): a chance to do something, or a situation in which it is easy for you to do something - โอกาส

policy (noun): a set of plans or action agreed on by a government, political party, business, or other group - นโยบาย

policymaker (noun): a person involved with creating a plan of action agreed or chosen by a political party, a business, etc. - ผู้กำหนดนโยบาย

previous : happening or existing before the event or object that you are talking about - แต่ก่อน, เมื่อก่อน

private : involving groups, businesses or industries that are not owned or controlled by the government - เอกชน

process : a series of actions that you take in order to achieve a result - แนวทางปฏิบัติ, กระบวน, วิธีการ

project : a planned piece of work that is designed to find information about something, to produce something new, or to improve something - โครงการ

quarter : one of four equal parts of something; 25 percent - หนึ่งในสี่ส่วน

rate : an amount of money that is paid or charged - ราคา, อัตรา

research : a careful study of a subject, especially in order to discover new facts or information about it - การวิจัย

residents : people who live in an area - ผู้อาศัย

restriction : a rule, action or situation that limits or controls someone or something - การจำกัด, การควบคุม

revenue : income from taxes or business activities - รายได้

rooftop : the outside surface of the roof of a building - หลังคา

scrapped (verb): not continued; stopped; discontinued ยุติแผนที่วางไว้ - ยุติแผนที่วางไว้

solar : involving the sun - เกี่ยวกับดวงอาทิตย์

state : government - รัฐบาล

surplus (noun): the amount by which the amount of money received is greater than the amount of money spent; more than is needed - จำนวนที่เกิน, ส่วนที่เกิน, เหลือเกิน

task : something that you have to do - งาน, หน้าที่; ภารกิจ

utility : a service provided for the public, for example an electricity, water or gas supply - สาธารณูปโภค, การบริการสาธารณะ

warehouse : a large building for storing things - โกดังสินค้า, คลังสินค้า, โรงพัสดุ

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