Renewable Energy in Thailand to double by 2030

Renewable Energy in Thailand to double by 2030

Renewable Energy in Thailand to double by 2030

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Since 2004, Thailand has been among the forerunners in Asia in promoting alternative energy development via government policies and investment incentives. In early 2019, the national Power Development Plan (PDP) and the Alternative Energy Development Plan (AEDP) were approved, marking the continuation of this trend. Renewable energy in Thailand is projected to be 30% of the total energy production by 2037, jumping from the current 14.5%, with big Thailand state-owned and private-sector conglomerates taking the lead.

Rooftop solar the big winner

The big winner in the updated PDP is solar rooftop solutions. The previously laborious licensing process has been changed to a much easier notification process, and owners are now allowed to sell excess electricity to the grid. The new PDP allocation for rooftop solar is 10.000 MW by 2037, and as a first step 100 MW would be added annually until 2018. The Energy Ministry is now reviewing the electricity purchase tariff for excess electricity and has promised to make it so attractive that the targets can be fulfilled. Thailand currently generates about 3,500 MW from solar, and the target for 2037 is 15,574 MW.

a photography of a giant sonar panel

Waste-to-energy for local communities with heavy support from the state

An exciting initiative from the new Energy Minister, who took his post last July, is the ‘Energy for All’ scheme. This aims to bring waste-to-power generation to each local community, turning municipal waste to fuel or utilizing local agriculture or forestry-based biomasses. According to the Energy Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, all these projects should commence operation in 2022 using the PPP model. The estimated investment is 8-12 million USD for each project, with most of the funding coming from state enterprise-run investment companies. We will publish more details of this exciting development soon!

Big private and state enterprises are taking the lead in big-scale projects

The Provincial Electricity Authority’s investment arm PEA ENCOM and the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) are taking the lead in fulfilling the government’s ambitious renewable energy targets. PEA ENCOM is expected to take a major role in the ‘Energy-for-All’ scheme’s community waste-to-power projects, and EGAT is preparing to invest in large-scale ‘floating solar’ and energy storage projects.

Several local private, multi-business conglomerates have become major investors in large-scale renewable energy projects, not only in Thailand but in neighboring countries and Vietnam as well.  They are also actively looking for opportunities in utilizing waste-to-energy and local biomasses.

The Power Development Plan is expected to be updated again soon

Of the 29.4GW which was allocated to the renewable energy in the latest PDP update early this year, the quota proportions for each type of renewable energy is as follows (including existing and new capacity by 2037):

  • Solar: 15,574 MW
  • Biomass: 5,786 MW
  • Wind: 2,989 MW
  • Biogas: 928 MW
  • Municipal solid waste: 900 MW
  • Industrial waste: 75 MW
  • Small hydro: 188 MW
  • Large hydro: 2,918 MW

In July 2019 Thailand’s new government was sworn in. The new Energy Minister has assumed the task of revising the PDP again, with a focus on accelerating the planned rooftop solar and community-based waste-to-energy and biomass schemes. The authorities will also extend the end of the 2021 deadline, to begin commercial operations (COD), for 33 already approved, ongoing renewable energy projects (biomass, biogas, waste to energy).  We see clearly that renewable energy in Thailand will keep developing fast under the new government.

Who are the winners?

Companies representing the newest technical solutions for solar, energy storage, waste-to-energy, and biomass-to-power projects. Thai investors, especially big private and state enterprises, are eager to hear about the newest and most efficient solutions available before selecting their technology partners.

How can you profit from this?

If you are interested in learning more about opportunities in the Thailand renewable energy market, please contact us for further information. Entering the Thailand market requires long-term commitment and good contact networks to gain the right access. Local presence to maintain client support is crucial here, and finding the right partner is the key success factor.

Key takeaways from this article

  • Thailand continues its ambitious renewable energy development plan, with solar, waste-to-energy, and biomass as hot sectors
  • Big Thailand conglomerates are major investors in the renewable energy sector in both Thailand and nearby countries
  • Thailand was ranked 21st out of 190 countries in the World Bank’s ‘Ease of Doing Business’ rankings, rising from 27th in 2018.
  • Follow our blog to get updates on the latest revisions to Thailand’s Power Development Plan (PDP)

Read more about renewable energy in Asia

Kai Tuorila
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