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Thailand to boost renewable energy investments

In order to meet an estimated 39 percent increase in energy demand seen in the next nine years, Thailand will boost its investments in renewable energy, said the Thai Board of Investment.

The Thai government is pushing for the use of alternative and renewable energy hoping to achieve 25 percent of their total energy consumption from non-petroleum sources, said the B.O.I.

According to the Ministry of Energy's Alternative Energy Development Plan (2012-2021), the demand for energy in Thailand will rise from today’s 71,728 tons of oil equivalent to 99,838 tons of oil equivalent in 2021.

Secretary-General Dr. Atchaka Sibunruang, said the B.O.I. is aware of the importance of renewable energy and its implications on Thailand’s growth and development. Hence, it is one of the agency’s top priorities.

The B.O.I. has policies in place to support investments in renewable energy projects, including tax incentives and other benefits. The agency will offer tax exemptions or reductions for imported machines and materials as well as corporate tax exemption or reduction. Meanwhile, incentives in other areas include permission to adopt foreign skills, to own land and foreign currency cash flow. Additionally, foreign investors can hold 100 percent of the shares of R.E. projects.

The B.O.I. noted that the country is rich in agricultural products that can be used as energy sources, like biomass, biogas, biodiesel and ethanol.

Biomass is already an important source of renewable energy in Thailand and is currently the second major energy source in the country, especially for households and small industries in rural areas, according to a study of National Metal and Materials Technology Center.

Thailand also has great potential for renewable energy generation, being particularly rich in solar power with average sunlight energy of 18.2 megajoules per square meter a day. – EcoSeed Staff

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