Energy Ministry has high hopes for solar scheme

Energy Ministry has high hopes for solar scheme

Project expected to hit 15,000 households

Solar panels from companies worldwide are showcased at Asean Sustainable Energy Week 2019 at Bitec, Bangkok until Saturday. (Photo by Somchai Poomlard)
Solar panels from companies worldwide are showcased at Asean Sustainable Energy Week 2019 at Bitec, Bangkok until Saturday. (Photo by Somchai Poomlard)

The Energy Ministry expects the solar power project for household rooftops to achieve its projection of 15,000 participants by year-end thanks to the popularity of the trend globally and declining investment costs in the sector.

The number of households using solar power has increased significantly since the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) opened its household solar power scheme last month, with plans to buy electricity from individual producers of up to 100 megawatts this year at 1.68 baht per kilowatt-hour.

Since it started on May 24 some 1,200 households have participated in the programme.

Energy Minister Siri Jirapongphan said he expects the volume of solar household power to increase rapidly across the country. Distribution channels for electricity from solar panels are also expanding to serve growing local demand for both on-grid and off-grid power generation.

"Solar power from household sources has been gaining at impressive growth rates this year," said Mr Siri.

"The energy source is going to shake the industry."

Interested homeowners can seek further information from the ERC website and register to join the scheme via the websites of the Metropolitan Electricity Authority at https://spv.mea.or.th and the Provincial Electricity Authority at https://ppim.pea.co.th. The two state-run bodies are responsible for buying power from the scheme.

Under the power-purchasing agreement, the first quota of 70MW is set for the two state agencies to buy solar power from private households this year.

Solar panels from companies worldwide showcase at ASEAN Sustainable Energy Week (ASE) 2019 at Bitec, Bangkok until Saturday.SOMCHAI POOMLARD

Mr Siri said household solar power is part of the national power development plan for 2018-37, which has revised the target for solar power portfolio over the next two decades.

"The government expects the capacity of solar power will increase by 20-30% in the next 20 years to 15,000-20,000MW, up from 3,500MW at the end of this year," he said. "Some 10,000MW will be generated by the household rooftop scheme."

Mr Siri said the ministry has strongly supported and promoted clean energy and technology, notably wind farms, energy storage and solar power as these sectors gain in popularity globally.

Thailand is emerging as a leader in global manufacturing of electric vehicles (EVs) and batteries for EV cars, he said after presiding over the Asean Sustainable Energy Week 2019 on Wednesday.

"EV technology emphasises the potential of Thai energy in the region," Mr Siri told participants.


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