Renewable Energy Development Strategy in Thailand Technical Digest

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					Technical Digest of the International PVSEC-14, Bangkok, Thailand, 2004                                                        31-3

                              Renewable Energy Development Strategy in Thailand

                                                    Siriporn Silasuta

                             The Department of Alternative Energy Development and Efficiency (DEDE)
                                 17 Kasatsuk Bridge, Rama 1 Rd., Patumwan, Bangkok 10330, Thailand
                              Phone: +662-2-259-760, Fax: +662-2-249-280, E-mail:

                       ABSTRACT                                         Electricity Demand and Generation
                                                                                  Thailand electricity demand in 2002 was 100,117
     Thailand's current energy policies and strategies have             GWh, 6.4% increased from 2001 and the total installed
been formulated in response to several challenges. The                  capacity in the same year was 24,157 MW. Share of
country is to ensure both the quality and security of energy            generation capacity was 62.4% from state utilities and the
supplies at reasonable prices. At the same time, it needs to            rest was from private power producers. The country
mitigate the impacts of energy use on the environment and               imported electricity from neighboring countries mainly from
to ensure the efficiency of energy supplies and the most                Laos and small amount from Malaysia. Electricity was also
effective use of domestic energy resources. Energy strategy             exported to Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar and Malaysia. Total
recently aimed at intensify more development of sustained               domestic generation in 2002 was 109,013 GWh mainly from
energy resources such as solar, wind, biomass and mini and              natural gas (63.8%), followed by coal and lignite (15.3%),
micro hydropower from less than 1% of final energy                      hydro (6.8%),fuel oil and diesel (2.6%) and renewable
demand mix in 2002 to 8% in 2011, will help country not                 energy (11.5%).
only increase its domestic energy resources but also create
the country's benefits on environmental aspects. PV                     2. Renewable Energy Development Strategy
development project for 300,000 non-electrified remote                           Development of renewable energy in Thailand
households totalling of 36 MW planned early this year and               began more than two decades ago. The establishment of
recent urban rooftop and grid-supports projects and existing            Energy Conservation Fund under the Promulgation of the
investment promotion of domestic PV modules                             Energy Conservation Promotion Act 1992 had spurred the
manufacturing are the prospect for future PV applications               widespread implementation of renewable energy projects to
under the RE development strategy.                                      a certain level. Voluntary implementation of renewable
                                                                        programs and projects of each energy resources is the major
 1. Energy Situation                                                    strategy. Achievements attained ,however, were marginal.
          Thailand energy consumption grew at average 7%                         In August 2003, Thai Government discussed the
per year during 1992-1996. But the recession during 1996-               four important energy issues; energy security, energy
1999 resulted in slow and even declining growth of energy               efficiency, strategic plan for renewable energy and regional
demand. During 1999-2001, the energy demand increased                   cooperation. Inconsequent, the strategic plan for renewable
again at average 4% per year and at 6.9% in 2002. It is,                energy that set a challenge target of increasing the share of
therefore, projected that the energy demand will resume its             renewable energy in final energy consumption mix,
high consumption like in the period before the recession                excluded traditional use of biomass, from less than 1% in
due to the       strong government policy in economic                   2002 to 8% in 2011. Biomass, hydro power (small and
development.                                                            micro), solar and wind are the resources to be
          Final energy comsumption in 2002 was 53 Mtoe                  developed by this target. The development will be 1,060
which 83% came from commercial energy (petroleum                        KTOE (2,400 MW) from RE electricity generation and
products, eletricity, coal and natural gas). The 17%                    3,091 KT0E and 1,570 KT0E.
renewable energy was from biomass used in households                             According to the strategic plan, power generation
and industries. They were fuel wood, charcoal, paddy husk               from renewable energy will increase from the current
and bagasse.                                                            installed capacity of 560 MW to 2,400 MW by 2011, in
          As a net energy importing country, 55% of total 86            order to meet the target 6% of the total installed capacity,
Mtoe energy supply came from imports. Energy imports                    about 40,000 MW. This estimated 1,840 MW electricity will
also showed an increasing trend over years except during                be generated partly through the on going projects of 36
the recession period. Majority of energy imports were crude             MW by PV Solar Home System and 300 MW by small
oil and products, followed by natural gas and coal.                     power producer (SPP) while another 1,504 MW will come
Electricity was imported and exported between Thailand                  from imposing an obligation on new power producers, IPPs,
and neighboring countries.                                              from fossil fuels, ie. coal, oil and natural gas, to generate or
                                                                        to buy power generated from renewable energy, equivalent

                                                               777                                            Int'l PVSEC - 14
to 4% of their installed capacity. This aims for a new power                                           Table 1 PV System Applications in Thailand in 2001
installation of 214 MW by PV, 100 MW by wind power,
840 MW by biomass (including Municipal Solid Waste-
MSW.) and 350 MW by hydro.                                                                                      Applications             Capacity      Share
          This 1,840 MW renewable generation will result                                                                                 (kWp)         (%)
in an annual saving of 600 million US dollars as for a direct                                    1      Battery Charging Station         2,026.1       36.43
economic benefit and in a yearly income generation within                                        2      Telcommunication Repeater        1,513         27.20
the local communities of 250 million US dollars. In term of                                      3      Water Pumping                    1,126.35      20.25
environmental benefit, an estimated of 4.7 million tons of                                       4      Hybrid Grid Connected              313.26       5.63
CO2 per annum could be reduced.                                                                  5      Remote School                      225.5        4.05
                                                                                                 6      Stand Alone for Home               195.27       3.51
         Figure 1 RE Development Target in 2011                                                  7      Remote Health Care                  21          0.38
                                                                                                 8      Navigation Aid                      18          0.32
                               RE Development Target                                             9      Miscellaneous                     123.25        2.22
                                                                                               Total                                     5,561.73      100.0
         Commercial              16.5%
           Energy                             TE = Traditional Energy

                                                                                              PV Rooftop and Grid Supports
           83.0%                              NRE = New & Renewable Energy

                                                                              TE                         Since electricity generation from PV gained more
               52,939 K TO E
               52,939 K TO E
                                                                                              users acceptance from various aspects such as easy to
                                           Energy                                  NR         handle; less problem; and more safety, together with the
                                            81%                                               prospect of declining cost per watt peak installed, the
                                                                                              government recently also promoted PV applications in the
                                              81,753 K TO E
                                              81,753 K TO E
                                                                                              urban areas and for grid-support generation. PV rooftop was
                                                                                              installed for up to 60 households and some 10 factories. A
                                                                                              500 kW grid-supported PV power plant was also installed at
                                                                                              Mae Hong Soen, a remote province located in the valley up
3. Prospect of Photovoltaic Development in                                                    north of Thailand, to support the generation there. These
  Thailand                                                                                    applications are considered to be the major parts of future
          Thailand implemented PV application projects                                        PV projects under the RE development strategy.
since 1995. At present, PV applications are both off-grid
(stand alone) and grid-connected systems. The off-grid                                        Solar home Project
applications, mainly implemented in the remote non- are in                                              In early 2003, Thai government showed strong
remote areas and are off-grid and the rest are grid-                                          supports for PV applications by launching a major program
connected. The off-grid applications, mainly implemented                                      to electrified all the rural non-electrified households in the
in the remote non-electrified communities/locations                                           remote areas throughout the country during 2004-2005.
throughout the country, include: PV battery charging                                          Under this program up to 300,000 non-electrified
stations; PV pumping for village water supply; stand alone                                    households will be equipped each with a 120 Watt peak PV
for home; remote school and health care clinic;                                               home system capable of supplying 3-4 hours electricity
wind/PV/diesel hybrid power station; and navigation and                                       which is enough for lighting and watching a TV set. The
telecommunication repeater. Grid-connected applications                                       total budget is about US$ 180 million and has been planned
were PV rooftops and grid supports which were                                                 to complete by 2005. This project formed a strong basis for
implemented in last few years. The current PV system                                          future PV development and investment in Thailand.
investment cost for electricity generation is approximately
250-350 Baht/Wattpeak (6.25-8.75 US$/ Wattpeak) or more                                       Promotion and Supports for Domestic Manufacturing of PV
than 9 Baht/kwh (22.5 cent/kwh). Almost all the existing                                      Modules
PV projects in Thailand are supported and subsidized by                                                 Investment promotion for domestic PV modules
government budget and Fund. The keys to the widespread                                        manufacturing is another key measure in supporting the
use of PV in Thailand came from government policy to                                          PV market expansion in Thailand. There are more than ten
provide basic needs such as lighting and potable water for                                    PV module suppliers in Thailand. However, only two of
rural communities in the remote areas where grid-extension                                    them, BP Thai Solar Co.Ltd. and Solartron Co.Ltd. fabricate
is expensive and difficult to construct. In 2002, the total                                   PV modules by importing solar cells from abroad and
capacity of PV systems installed in Thailand was estimated                                    assemble into panel here. Both companies imported single
to be approximately 6 MW. Most of them (95%) are off-grid                                     crystalline ready-made cells from USA and European
for remote areas and the rest are grid connected.                                             Countries. Total combined production capacity of these two
                                                                                              companies are 2 MW. Solartron has planned to expand its

production soon. Two new companies, Thai Photovoltaic                 4. Conclusion
Co.,Ltd., and Bangkok Solar Co.,Ltd. had registered with                        Thailand energy demand will resume its high
The Board of Investment (BOI) to manufacture the thin film            growth in the future, spurred by the expected high economic
amorphous PV modules with the capacities of 20 MW and 5               growth driven by the strong government policies. Recent
MW respectively. Ministry of Energy is now planned to                 strategic plan on renewable energy, marking the new era for
seek the cabinet approval for putting PV manufacturing                renewable energy development in the country. The target
business on the lists of "Special Important Business" which           of increasing the share of renewable energy in total final
will enable the domestic PV manufacturers to obtain the               energy mix, from less than 1% in 2002 to 8% in 2011
maximum privileges granted by the BOI. Possible pivileges             includes more use of RE in power generation, process
include : maximum 8 years tax exemption regardless of the             heat/steam in industries and production of biofuel. Energy
plant location; and exemption of tax and duty for machines            resources to be developed are Solar, Wind, small and micro
and equipment and for export etc. These privileges together           Hydro and Biomass.
with the increase use of local components and local labor                       Deployment of PV system in Thailand until 2001
are the key factors that would bring down the cost and price          was approximately 6 MW. The development was in several
of the PV modules and system which would eventually                   applications such as electrification for households, schools
increase the competitiveness of PV applications.                      and health care clinics , portable water pumping,
                                                                      communication, etc. Rooftop applications for urban
Research and Development                                              households and factories as well as grid supports were also
         Research and development for PV modules                      recently promoted by the government. A major government
production and balance of system (BOS) has been carried               PV project planned in early 2003, to electrify up to 300,000
out by many local universities and research institutes.               non-electrified remote households, by the PV solar home
National Science and Technology Development Agency                    system will boost up the additional PV demand of 36 MW
(NSTDA), under Ministry of Science and Technology, has                within 2005. This PV solar home project together with
made the impressive progress on development of high                   the 4% renewable obligation on new power producers
efficiency solar cell, amorphous hybrid with thin film                under the strategies plan will increase the PV demand to 250
silicon, which is suitable for tropical climate applications          MW by 2011.
and a pilot fabrication machine for PV panel. The NSTDA 's
PV panels will be installed and tested for their performances
for 15 health care clinics and a water pumping site in remote                               REFERENCES
communities in 2003-2004. Commercial production of this               [1]   Sawad Hemkamon,"Photovoltaic Development and
hybrid PV is expected by NSTDA in joint venture with                        Deployment Status and Prospect in Thailand", A
private company(s)                                                          country paper presented at IEA-PVPSS International
                                                                            Conference, Osaka, Japan, 19-20 May 2003

                                                                      [2]   Sawad Hemkamon, "Sustainable Development in
                                                                            Thailand : Renewable Energy Projects", A Keynote
                                                                            Address, at Sustainable Energy and Energy
                                                                            Efficiency Conference, Singapore, 18-19 November