Thailand Adding 1,000 MW of Solar with New Feed-in Tariffs
800 MW Set Aside for Community-Owned Projects
While municipal utilities in Los Angeles and on New York’s Long Island plod along with timid municipal feed-in tariff programs, Thailand plans to add another 1,000 MW of solar photovoltaics (solar PV) by the end of 2014.
Since Thailand launched its aggressive feed-in tariff program in 2006, the country had installed nearly 1,000 MW of solar PV by 2010 and had a portfolio of signed contracts of more than 4,000 MW, nearly half of that for solar PV.
As in successful program elsewhere, the Thai feed-in tariffs were differentiated by technology. There are tariffs for wind, solar, hydro, biomass, and biogas. However, contracts were for a limited time period of 10 years or less.
Now in a radical departure from the past program, Thailand’s National Energy Policy Commission (NEPC) has approved new feed-in tariffs for both rooftop and ground-mounted solar PV with contract terms of 25 years. This brings the Thai program into alignment with similar programs in Germany, Great Britain, and Ontario, Canada.