Thai residential solar installation hits record as electricity rates surge


Rooftop solar panels of Thai home in Bangkok. (Photo: iStock)

Due to the persistently high electricity rates in Thailand, people are increasingly turning to solar power. This year, a total of 1,878 applications were successfully submitted for the "Residential Solar Project" (โครงการโซลาร์ภาคประชาชน), marking a new record since the project's launch in 2019. The cumulative installed capacity has reached 10.18 MW.

According to official data, 1,664 cases with a total generating capacity of 9.11 MW are purchased by the Metropolitan Electricity Authority in Thailand, while the Provincial Electricity Authority handles 214 cases with a purchased capacity of 1.03 MW.

The electricity rates in Thailand have surged by over 4 Thai Baht (about 0.12 USD) this year, and further increases are anticipated in the coming year (2024). Coupled with the decreasing installation costs of solar panels, there has been a substantial increase in public willingness to adopt solar power systems. Additionally, the purchasing price for electricity from power plants has risen from 1.68 Thai Baht (about 0.049 USD) per unit 3 years ago to 2.20 Thai Baht (about 0.064 USD), and the purchasing contract duration has extended from 1 year to 10 years.

To encourage the public to embrace green energy, the Thai government introduced the "Residential Solar Project" in 2019. This initiative allows regular residential electricity consumers to install solar panels on their rooftops, generating power for their own use. Additionally, any surplus electricity can be sold to the state-owned power company. In the first 4 years, the annual average transactions ranged from 1 to 4 MW. However, this year has seen significant growth, breaking through the 10-megawatt mark.

According to official statistics, as of 2023, there have been 8,431 successful grid connections, with a total electricity sales volume of 46.28 MW. Additionally, 2,795 cases are still awaiting activation, and the expected increase in installed capacity is anticipated to be 15.501 MW.

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