Thailand’s Cabinet accepts B200bn in energy schemes to help reboot the economy
The cabinet on Tuesday acknowledged the Energy Ministry’s plan to accelerate investment in energy projects worth more than 200 billion baht, starting later this year, in a collective move to help reboot the economy.
According to Rachada Dhnadirek, deputy government spokeswoman, the Energy Ministry has pledged to rev up spending on large-scale energy projects and renewable energy schemes with an aim to create more than 10,000 new jobs this year.
Key investment projects include exploration and production of petroleum, development of LNG receiving terminals, the decommissioning of gas production rigs in the Gulf of Thailand, grid modernisation and grid connectivity to neighbouring countries in order to supply electricity in the future.
According to Ms Rachada, the ministry’s stimulus and rehabilitation plans after the coronavirus crisis will focus on three facets: local community enhancement, renewable energy development and innovation development.
On the local community enhancement front, the Energy Ministry is committed to supporting local communities near power plants to sell their products online and promoting local communities to sell their products at PTT stations nationwide.
The ministry also vows to support farmer assistance programmes and community-based businesses to increase the value of farm products, while the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat) will help promote tourism activities at its dams nationwide.
According to Ms Rachada, the ministry aims to encourage communities to build small renewable power plants with 3 megawatts each. The first community power plants will be established in Thap Sakae district in Prachuap Khiri Khan and in Mae Chaem district in Chiang Mai.
Community power plants will be allowed to sell their power to the government this year.
The ministry also aims to support the first phase of community-owned power projects from renewable sources under the Energy for All scheme.
The first phase of the scheme, called Quick Win, is set to generate 100MW of electricity.
Quick Win refers to power plants currently under construction or those yet to begin commercial operations.
The ministry is scheduled to open for interested parties for co-investment and to sign power purchase deals this year.
According to Ms Rachada, the ministry expects to open up bidding to members of the general public who are interested in investing in community-based power projects with a combined 600MW within this year.
On the innovation development front, the ministry pledges to promote and support potential startups, while Innovation Holding Co will be established through Egat to support innovations such as charging stations for electric vehicles.