Thailand turns to solar power

Thai solar power
Construction of a solar power plant in Thailand

As Thailand’s energy demand is projected to rise over the next decade, the country increasingly turns to the development of renewable energy sources, such as solar power.

By Ju Li Khing

According to a report in the Renewable Energy Magazine from February 15, German solar energy company Conergy signed a contract with Thailand’s Siam Solar Energy to construct three solar plants of 10.5 megawatts each in addition to existing two solar plants that are already being constructed since autumn 2012.

All in all, the capacity will be increased to 51.5 megawatts, bringing the Thai company’s total capacity to 70 megawatts. This also brings Thailand closer to achieving the targets of its 10-year Alternative Energy Development Plan.

Investment in renewable energy is one of the country’s priorities, given its goal to reduce its energy imports.

The Thai Board of Investment estimated that national energy demand will rise by 39 per cent over the next nine years.

Its current aim is to achieve 25 per cent energy generation from renewable sources by 2022. This means that solar energy production in the country would need to reach a 2,000-megawatt capacity.

Among efforts to develop Thailand’s solar energy sector, the Asian Development Bank in December 2012 signed loan assistance and co-financing from the Clean Technology Fund, one of the United Nation’s climate investment funds, to support the Provincial Solar Power Project where Bangchak Solar Energy Co. Ltd. is installing a 50 megawatts solar power plant.