ClearSky Advisors (Toronto) states Thailand could install 700-1,500 MW of solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity by 2017, noting Thailand’s “abundant” solar resources, the development of its PV market and the relative effectiveness of current policies.
Thailand has set a goal to install 3 GW of PV by 2021, and ClearSky says that the main drivers that will allow the nation to reach that goal are the Renewable Energy Adder Program (REAP) and a new system of one-time feed-in tariffs.
Feed-in tariffs capped at 1 GW
Thailand has temporarily put REAP, a form of feed-in tariff, on hold. In its place, the government is implementing a one-time feed-in tariff for 1 GW of projects. Under this feed-in tariff, rooftop PV plants must be completed by December 2013 and ground-mounted projects by December 2014.
ClearSky notes that REAP only supported PV projects larger than 1 MW, resulting in such projects representing 99% of Thailand’s installed PV capacity. However, the feed-in tariffs reverse this, as they only apply to projects smaller than 1 MW.
The new feed-in tariffs range from USD 0.224/kWh for rooftop PV plants smaller than 10 kW to USD 0.199/kWh for projects between 250 kW and 1 MW. Community ground-mounted projects up to 1 MW will be paid rates that will escalate from USD 0.314-0.145/kWh, with the higher rates being paid in the first years of the contract.
The program is capped at 100 MW of projects smaller than 10 kW, 100 MW for rooftop PV plants between 10 kW and 1 MW, and 800 MW for ground-mounted projects.