Sena upbeat on state solar power scheme

Sena upbeat on state solar power scheme

The installation of rooftop solar panels is expected to be a fast-growing business for Sena.
The installation of rooftop solar panels is expected to be a fast-growing business for Sena.

The government's plan to launch a new rooftop solar power project for households is attracting the attention of housing developers, with Sena Development Plc, a developer that also offers solar panel installation services, aiming to benefit from the scheme.

This programme is the first renewable project to be launched by the Pheu Thai-led coalition government, following the launch of the 5.2-gigawatt renewable scheme by the previous administration.

Authorities announced the new scheme in January and are preparing to hold a public hearing on the project.

Kessara Thanyalakpark, chief executive of Sena Development, said householders installing rooftop solar panels with an electricity generation capacity of no less than 10 kilowatts, would be given a tax reduction of up to 200,000 baht.

Solar power is increasingly popular because it can help householders reduce the price of their power bills and, if solar panels generate more electricity than they require, they are able to sell it to the state grid.

Mrs Kessara suggested the government allow householders to install meters that will not limit the sale of electricity to the government as this would encourage more people to adopt cleaner forms of energy.

Thailand previously launched a rooftop solar power project, but the number of people joining the scheme was low because the authorities offered to purchase the electricity from households at unattractive prices.

It remains unclear whether the government would apply a green utility tariff, also known as a GUT, to the new rooftop solar power project.

The GUT rates announced last month by the Energy Regulatory Commission are higher than the current power tariff of 4.2 baht per kilowatt-hour imposed on users of electricity provided through the state grid.

"The tariff for electricity generated by rooftop solar panels should be increased to attract more people," said Mrs Kessara.

Authorities expect to encourage 90,000 households to join the new rooftop solar power scheme.

Mrs Kessara believes many people are interested in installing solar panels because the technology has become more affordable and they want to avoid costly power bills.

Sena Development began offering housing projects with rooftop solar power in 2015. It has built 5,000 houses so far that can generate electricity to serve each resident's own needs without the ability to sell excess power to the state.

The houses are built with materials that can protect residents against heat. They are also designed to allow air to better ventilate throughout the building.

Each house can save between 18-50% on power bills, according to Sena Development.

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