Unofficial reports indicate that the Energy Regulatory Commission (“ERC”) will proceed with a program to permit commercial and residential solar rooftop proprietors to sell excess power directly to the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (“EGAT”), at a fixed rate below THB 2.6 per kilowatt-hour. For comparison, EGAT currently sells electricity directly to consumers at a rate of about THB 4 per kilowatt-hour.
At present, no details relating to the conditions and procedures of the program have been released by the ERC. Based on similar programs, it is likely to include a licensing requirement and a limitation on the total capacity to be accommodated. The program would apply to solar facilities on the rooftops of detached houses, warehouses, factories and offices.
Despite uncertainty over when the pilot program will come into effect, the cost savings and corporate social responsibility dividends from installing solar rooftop systems for self-consumption has already lead to a boom in development over recent years. The added incentive of potential offtake by EGAT is likely to fuel innovative new business models for developers, further adding to growth in the sector.
The solar rooftop program in Thailand is part of a range of measures to achieve a broader renewable energy target under the Alternative Energy Development Plan 2015 of 19,684 MW by 2036, or approximately 20% of total generation capacity.
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