Thailand’s Energy Ministry Seeks Rooftop Solar Revisions

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Energy Minister of Thailand Sontirat Sontijirawong has ordered a revision of conditions for the solar rooftop project within 2 months to produce and to sell power to the state grid to households.

The order came into action after discussing obstacles to the project, the sale prices of photovoltaic (PV) electricity, with former Bangkok senator and outspoken activist Rosana Tositrakul, who leads the energy advocacy group Thai Energy Reform.

The contract said that “Thailand has allowed people to jointly generate electricity from solar energy since 2013, but there was little interest. The main problem is the power tariff included in the price is not high enough”.

The project aims to produce 50 megawatts of electricity per year over the next five years, he added.

Sontirat highlighted the need to adjust conditions, making the project more attractive to households. He ordered energy officials to jointly talk with Thai Energy Reform and come up with a better version by August.

People who join the project are allowed to produce electricity for daily use and can sell the rest to the state grid at 1.68 baht per kilowatt-hour (unit), According to the ministry.

Rosana urged officials to deal with tax issues and find a better way to support people who want to join the project. She stated that price was not a problem in return she suggested the ministry to use a “net metering system”.

Rosana also stated that 95% of Thailand’s solar energy is produced from ground-based solar farms. And Solar panels installed on house roofs for consumption and sale are widely popular in Bangkok, as well as various production plants in the Eastern Economic Corridor, but they have found the electricity price is too low.

In March, TOTAL S.A. TOT announced that it’s unit Total Solar Distributed Generation agreed to provide 25 megawatt-peak of solar rooftops for 24 facilities of one of the largest food companies in Thailand, Betagro. These solar projects will utilize more than 62,000 solar panels and produce 38-gigawatt hours of renewable electricity per year.

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