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The use and deployment of solar are on the upswing, which is good news for renewables. Solar energy is the energy that is obtained from the sun and then turned into electricity or thermal energy. By 2025, renewable energy is predicted to overtake coal as the dominant source of electricity, with solar energy leading the charge. Solar energy is currently the cleanest and most abundant energy source available, as well as the cheapest in most countries.
Reasons Of The Rise
The use of solar can expect a stable growth in numbers due to numerous reasons. A few of the reasons are briefly talked about in the following section of the article.
- Falling Costs
Solar PV is currently cheaper than new coal or gas-fired power plants in most countries, thanks to mature technology and support mechanisms, as well as the emergence of a solar industry ecosystem that has reduced financing costs for major solar PV projects. This is one of the biggest reasons for the rise of solar in Thailand. The drastically reduced costs supplemented with the added benefits make an extraordinary combination.
- Favourable Government Policies
Besides reducing costs, one of the key drivers for the expansion of the solar energy market is the important part played by government initiatives and legislation. In countries like Thailand, policies such as feed-in tariffs have been key forces behind the development of solar energy. A feed-in tariff is a regulatory tool that encourages renewable energy providers to invest in their technologies by giving long-term contracts. The increase and decrease in the investments greatly depend on the changes in the rate of these tariffs.
During the projection period of 2019–2024, Thailand’s solar energy market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 9.14%. The solar energy market in Thailand is predicted to be driven by factors such as substantial government support for solar power development in the form of feed-in tariffs and the falling costs of solar PV systems during the forecast period. According to the latest Power Development Plan, Thailand is expected to draw 35% of its energy through non-fossil energy sources.
The government of Thailand is trying to take appropriate measures in framing and promoting solar-related policies. Thailand is nearing completion on one of the world’s largest floating hydro-solar hybrid projects on the surface of a dam. Over the following 16 years, Thailand’s state-run Electricity Generation Authority (EGAT) plans to reproduce this at eight other dams. Workers are installing 144,417 solar panels on a reservoir in the northeast province of Ubon Ratchathani, where the last of seven solar farms spanning 300 acres (121 hectares) of water is being completed. With this, the Thai government also says that for the state, a hybrid system can also be very useful as it allows constant electricity generation. As a result, solar energy is likely to increase significantly in the next few years, with a number of utility-scale solar power and hydropower projects in the planning and building stages..
What Lies Ahead
By 2037, Thailand aims at getting 35% of its energy from non-fossil fuels. Thailand’s solar industry is booming, as the government works to meet its Paris Climate Accords target of 30% renewable energy by 2030, while private companies compete for green investors by matching aggressive emissions reduction targets. Thailand wants to raise solar energy production to 6,000 megawatts (MW) by 2036, accounting for 9% of total electricity generation, up from 4% in 2014. Solar power has firmly established itself on the energy map of the country, with the private sector planning to invest at least $2 billion in solar power over the next five years. With governmental support and appropriate policies, renewable energy can even reach some of the poorest parts of the country.
One factor that should be kept in mind is that solar energy is intermittent. The sun does not constantly shine, and the cost of storage alternatives such as lithium-ion batteries remains high. This is an actual issue that the solar industry must address if it is to attain its full potential. However, if history is any indication, solar power will play a key role in accelerating the transition to a carbon-free future.
The solar sector is continually evolving due to quick technological developments, improvements, and inventiveness. Just as some of the most developed nations, Thailand is not far away from taking the road of renewables. The future of solar in Thailand is bright and with innovations and developments can reach great heights.