One million farms to get solar panels
Farmers' power bills will drop 30%
The Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives on Saturday unveiled plans to install solar panels in at least one million farms across the country to help reduce electricity bills for farmers by 30% in coming years.
Deputy Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Praphat Phothasuthon told the media that Thailand is facing an energy crisis along with many other countries as fuel prices rise.
Most fuel is imported from overseas for use in the agricultural, household and transport sectors among others.
The high fuel prices affect the cost of agricultural production, so the ministry entered talks with Capital Trust Group from New Zealand, which manages a Singaporean fund to carry out a study of energy use in Thai agriculture.
The ministry plans to issue a non-fungible token (NFT) named "Solar Panels NFT for Thai Farmers" worth six million ethereum to legally trade with international investors in Singapore.
The money raised from the cryptocurrency will be used to buy good-quality solar panels and distribute them to farmers, he said.
Mr Praphat added that generated energy will be used to power farm machinery such as electric tractors, milling machines and crop-spraying drones.
The project will also help reduce farm electricity bills by about 20-30% each month for 15-20 years.
Initially, the ministry will hold talks with state agencies and the private sector ahead of expediting a feasibility study to boost confidence among international investors.
A million farms generating solar power will also help reduce the country's greenhouse emissions, he said.
The pilot project could be expanded nationwide to all homes and businesses.