Rooftop solar sales start to surge in Thailand

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Rooftop solar sales start to surge in Thailand

Rooftop solar systems are starting to shine bright in Thailand as real estate developers and solar companies say demand for the systems are surging, partly as a result of more people working from home and wanting to save on electricity.

Thailand has been the leading producer of wind and solar energy in Southeast Asia for the past decade, but most of the customers for renewables have been big businesses and industry. Only recently have consumers and small enterprises been making the move towards rooftop, home and community-sharing solar systems.

“As more people work from home, they are scrutinizing electricity prices as they spend most of their time at their abode,” said Kessara Thanyalakpark, chief executive officer of Sena Development Plc., which builds housing estates with rooftop solar power technology.

Aside from building homes with rooftop solar systems, the firm plans to facilitate power trading and sharing between homeowners and the state grid. Homeowners will be able to sell their surplus electricity to authorities under a sandbox program overseen by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC).

Small businesses are also investing in rooftop solar systems, according to SPCG, one of the earliest firms to specialize in solar power generation.

“Businesses are rushing to save on energy expenses as oil prices fluctuate, electricity bills rise and raw materials become more costly,” said Wandee Khunchornyakong Juljarern, chief executive officer of SPCG.

The company had set a sales target of roughly $30 million this year, but raised it to over $50 million after reaching the target in the first half.

The rooftop solar power sector has the potential to boom if the new government enacts policies to encourage people to adopt the technology as part of a state campaign against global warming, said Khomgrich Tantravanich, secretary-general of the ERC.