Kansai Electric Power’s Thailand Unit Harnesses Solar Energy

Representational image. Credit: Canva

In the heart of Thailand’s technologically advanced Eastern Economic Corridor, a groundbreaking renewable energy venture is taking shape. International investors are collaborating to construct Singapore’s largest stand-alone rooftop solar panel installation, covering a vast area exceeding 18 football fields.


Kansai Electric Power Co., Japan’s second-largest electricity provider, is spearheading this remarkable endeavor atop a factory that produces high-performance Falken tires for the European market. The installation seeks to establish a new world record for the largest solar rooftop and aligns with Thailand’s growing reputation as a clean energy pioneer within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

The ambitious project combines a 40,000-panel, 100,000-square-meter rooftop with a gas co-generation system and additional electric power fueled by biomass derived from surplus rubber trees. By 2025, this integrated solution is set to generate an impressive 22MW, reduce CO2 emissions by 38,000 tonnes, and facilitate the factory’s complete transition to renewable energy.


The rooftop, situated within the Amata City Rayong industrial park, symbolizes Thailand’s ascendancy as a leader in clean energy. The country’s Bio-Circular Green economy strategy has attracted substantial investments through a comprehensive package of subsidies, tax incentives, and other benefits. As a result, the first half of 2023 witnessed 186 out of 195 applications to the Thailand Board of Investment (BOI) dedicated to renewable energy power generation projects.

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Investors from around the globe, spanning Japanese and Korean power utilities to Chinese and European electric vehicle manufacturers, have shown keen interest in Thailand’s clean energy potential. Notable players such as Amazon Web Services, Western Digital Corp., and electric vehicle manufacturers like BYD Co. and Mercedes Benz have recognized the burgeoning opportunities offered by Thailand’s sustainable energy landscape.

Shuji Hashizume, an investment specialist at the Asian Development Bank, emphasizes Thailand’s frontrunner status in the region for clean energy initiatives. With the impending global need to combat climate change, Thailand’s role in promoting renewable energy cannot be underestimated.

Thailand’s drive towards sustainability extends to the transportation sector as well. Amidst a backdrop of a strong automotive manufacturing industry, the country has emerged as the regional hub for electric vehicle production and market growth. Investments from major EV manufacturers like BYD Co., Great Wall Motor, and SAIC of China, along with Mercedes Benz of Germany and newcomer Foxconn Technology Group of Taiwan, are propelling Thailand’s transition towards electric mobility.

Even established companies like PTT PCL, traditionally an oil and gas enterprise, have embarked on significant clean energy investments, collaborating with global leaders in the field. State-owned Fortune 500-ranked PTT PCL’s partnerships with Foxconn and China’s Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL) underscore its commitment to driving Thailand’s shift towards renewable energy sources.

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Thailand’s public and private sectors are joining forces to drive change. Companies like Energy Absolute PCL and B.Grimm Power PCL are contributing to the transformation of Thailand’s public transport and power landscape. The streets of central Bangkok are now quieter and cleaner, thanks to the proliferation of electric buses and boats, showcasing the role of Thai companies in the transition.

The industrial sector is also embracing clean energy with companies like B.Grimm Power partnering with Amata Corp. PCL and Siam Cement Group to integrate solar systems on factory roofs. These initiatives are aligned with the Thai government’s mission to promote renewables within its sustainability master plan.

With a “green leap” strategy aimed at tripling capacity and doubling the proportion of renewable energy output by 2030, B.Grimm Power is taking the lead. The need for renewable energy solutions is imminent, with Southeast Asia requiring 920GW of renewable energy by 2050, while currently only being on track for 340GW.

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Thailand’s clean energy journey has also resonated with global corporations. Western Digital Corp. and Inc. have set ambitious targets for utilizing renewable energy in their operations. The former, one of the world’s largest data storage infrastructure suppliers, is collaborating with Thai power utilities to drive green energy use in the kingdom.

Amidst an evolving landscape, Thailand has demonstrated its prowess in spearheading sustainable practices across multiple sectors, from manufacturing and transportation to power production. As the world grapples with climate change, Thailand’s commitment to clean energy and innovative partnerships positions it as a beacon of environmental stewardship on the global stage.

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