About 144,417 solar panels are being installed on a reservoir in the northeast province of Ubon Ratchathani, where workers are completing the last of seven solar farms covering 300 acres (121 hectares) of water.

The state-run Electricity Generation Authority of Thailand (EGAT) is touting the pilot project as one of the world’s largest hybrid hydro-solar power ventures and aims to replicate it at eight more dams over the next 16 years.

Highlights

  • Thailand is creating one the world’s biggest floating hydro-solar hybrid projects on the surface of a dam, which is close to completion.
  • The state-run Electricity Generation Authority of Thailand (EGAT) aims to replicate this at eight more dams over the next 16 years.
  • Head of the initiative Chanin Saleechan has said this could generate 2,725 megawatts of electricity, once all the projects are completed in every dam.
  • Thailand is aiming to draw 35% of its energy from non-fossil fuels by 2037.

“When all the projects are completed in every dam, we will have total capacity to generate 2,725 megawatts,” project head Chanin Saleechan said.

Thailand has long relied on coal for power, but plans for new coal-fired projects have been met with opposition over health and environmental risks, and two proposed southern coal plants were shelved in 2018.

A worker kneels by one of the solar cell panels over the water surface of Sirindhorn Dam in Ubon Ratchathani, Thailand April 8, 2021. Picture taken April 8, 2021 with a drone. REUTERS/Prapan Chankaew - RC2HZM9ALEUC
Thailand’s latest Power Development Plan has stated that it aims to draw 35% of its energy from non fossil fuels by 2037.Image: REUTERS/Prapan Chankaew

It is aiming to draw 35% of its energy from non-fossil fuels by 2037, according to its latest Power Development Plan.

Since November, EGAT has been putting together floating solar platforms at the Sirindhorn dam, one of the country’s largest hydropower sites, which it says should be able to generate 45 megawatts of power.

An Energy Management System will be used to switch between solar and hydropower, depending on which can generate more electricity, a hybrid system Chanin said allows continuous power generation.

In August 2020, EGAT governor Viboon Rerksirathai was quoted in the Bangkok Post as saying that the state utility had power reserves of 40% of total capacity but that it plans to reduces those reserves to 15% to curb high electricity costs.

Witoon Permpongsacharoen, director of Bangkok-based non-governmental group, Energy and Ecology Network, said the floating solar-hydro plan could create unnecessary and potentially costly excess capacity.

“The issue here is, there is a high level of electricity reserves, so the investment on this green energy is being done without considering demand,” he said. “Of course we support the investment on renewable energy over fossil fuel. But our priority is also energy efficiency.”

License and Republishing

This article is republished in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License, Written by Reuters Staff ,  in collaboration with Reuters

The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the Thailand Business News

About the author

Leave a Reply

Sign Up for Our Newsletter

Get notified of our weekly selection of news

You May Also Like

World Bank cuts Thailand’s GDP growth outlook to 1% in 2021

The World Bank has said that Thailand’s economy is forecast to grow 1% this year, down from the 2.2% projected in July, hit by a spike in COVID-19 cases and a delayed reopening to visitors.

How Asia can accelerate its green energy transition

Energy consumption and production contribute to two-thirds of global emissions, and 81% of the global energy system is still based on fossil fuels, the same percentage as 30 years ago

Thailand BOI Approves Measures to Support Carbon Reduction

greenhouse gas emission as well as an enhanced scheme for electric vehicles and measures to mitigate Covid-19 impacts and support local vaccine development