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Move seeks to entice more households to take up solar rooftop scheme

a worker solarpanel

The National Energy Policy Council (NEPC) agreed on Friday to raise the power feed-in tariff to 2.20 baht per kilowatt-hour (unit) from 1.68 baht for the household solar rooftop scheme, effective from Jan 1, 2021.

Kulit Sombatsiri, permanent secretary for energy, said the approval by the NEPC chaired by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha is likely to entice more households to produce and sell power to the state grid.

Launched in May 2019, the household solar rooftop scheme offers a feed-in tariff of 1.68 baht per unit for 10-year contracts, aiming for a combined 100 megawatts a year between 2019 and 2028.

Two state-run agencies, the Provincial Electricity Authority and the Metropolitan Electricity Authority, are tasked with buying output of 70MW and 30MW, respectively.

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The solar project for households is in line with the new version of the national power development plan (PDP) 2018-37. Under the PDP, solar power is projected to total 12,725MW by 2037.

However, the household solar rooftop scheme has drawn lukewarm interest from households. As of Dec 25, the scheme generated only 2.2MW, much lower than the target.

The government recently cut the target for the scheme to 50MW a year.

Mr Kulit said the NEPC also agreed to extend state power purchases from the solar rooftop scheme to cover schools, hospitals and water resource development projects for agriculture purposes, with a combined 50MW for 10-year contracts at 1 baht per unit.

The council assigned the Energy Ministry to improve laws and regulations to facilitate such institutions participating in the scheme.

In a related development, the Energy Ministry said it is offering a retail oil price cap at PTT stations between Dec 26 and Jan 3, 2021, and a cooking gas price cap between Jan 1 and March 31.

This post has been published by Bangkok Post

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