Thailand to double its clean energy production in next 20 years

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Thailand has set a new target of doubling electricity generation from renewable energy within next 20 years, announced energy Minister Narongchai Akrasanee.

At present, the ministry will focus on three renewable energy segments including solar power, waste-to-energy production, biomass and biogas.

The government aims to increase the national electricity grid’s purchase of renewable energy to 22-25 per cent of total installed capacity from 11 per cent.

In addition, authorities have kept a target of doubling the purchase of solar power to about 3,000 MW within the next 20 years.

The government will finalize by early next month how many megawatts of additional solar power should be brought o reach capacity.

The new bidding round will be opened after clearing off projects proposed by the previous government.

According to the latest data from the Thai Ministry of Energy, approximately 3.78 GW of renewable energy capacity is currently installed in the country.

In July 2014, Thailand’s renewable energy portfolio underwent a modification in feed-in tariff (FIT) with the reintroduction of tax breaks for installers of solar power.

Narongchai Akrasanee image from National Multi media
Narongchai Akrasanee, Energy Minister, Thailand

Supported by various government subsidies, wind energy is also profitable, scoring up a net profit of $25 million in 2013.

Recently, KNM Group Bhd planned the entry into Thailand’s renewable energy sector, by buying two Thai companies for US$24 million (RM88.49 million).

KNM’s subsidiary, KNM Renewable Energy’s Sdn Bhd has signed an agreement with FE Global/Asia Clean Energy Services Fund, FEGACE Asia Sub-Fund and Global Clean Energy to acquire their entire equity interest in ABL Bio-Fuels Ltd and Asia Biofuels II.

In another initiative, Energy Absolute plans to invest about 46 billion baht ($1.4 billion) over the next three years to boost generation capacity from renewable energy.

The capacity will increase by 570 MW by 2017 from about 100 MW right now.

The company that operates biggest solar power project in Thailand is spending 17 billion baht to build two solar projects with combined capacity of 180 MW. It plans to invest an additional 29 billion baht on wind farms with total output of 390 MW.

Sabeena Wahid
[email protected]

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