Thailand Solar Cell Project Shows Promise
Not only does the financial structuring of the project seem sound, but the most important aspect is that it seems to be largely decentralized and focused on community investment. Centralization of renewable energy infrastructure is too inefficient/costly to be worth anyone’s time.
On a recent visit to Thailand I was very impressed with the simplicity and fairness of their incentives for installing solar systems. I spoke with representatives who had invested in a solar farm about the existing system they had installed and future projects. Unlike many western countries where you need a degree in accounting to see how all the tax credits, feed in tariffs and other incentives work this is very straight forward.
In the latest round Thailand has announced plans for another 1,000 megawatts (MW) — or 1 gigawatt (GW) — of solar photovoltaic projects in the country. This is part of an overal goal of 3 GW by 2021. The incentive is based on a feed in Feed-in Tariff (FiT). Rates will be offered for 200 MW of rooftop solar and 800 MW of community-owned ground mounts. Systems will be guaranteed the new FiT payments for a 25-year period, instead of the previous 10 years. One of the most innovative aspects of this is the fairness in rolling out the plan. It is so everyone may benefit.