Thailand’s Wind Energy Holdings acquires Australian firm

5_wind4Wind Energy Holding of Thailand, one of the Kingdom’s fastest-growing alternative energy companies, has agreed to buy CWP Renewables of Australia, making it the first international acquisition for the up-and-coming Thai firm.

Meanwhile, the Thai government gave going green a boost when it approved a plan last week to allow houses and factories to generate a combined 100 megawatts of power from rooftop solar panels. Thailand is already the leader in Southeast Asia in power generated from wind and solar sources, and has a target of sourcing 25 percent of is energy nationally from renewable sources by 2036. Renewables accounted for 9.2 percent of Thai energy consumption in 2014.

Wind Energy Holdings (WEH) was purchased last year by KPN Group, a Thai conglomerate with interests in energy, education, entertainment, real estate and investment. Its acquisition of WEH was its first foray into the energy sector.

“One of our core goals was to leverage and expand from our base in Thailand into attractive renewables markets, both in the region and globally,” WEH Chairman of the Board Nop Narongdej said last week about the company’s acquisition of CWP Renewables.

“The investment into CWP and its development [plans] is the first of what we expect will be a number of global initiatives for the company, as we move into the next phase of our international growth plans,” he added.

The purchase of CWP immediately expanded WEH’s global footprint. CWP has an international track record of renewable-energy development, with more than two decades of experience in developing and managing 4,200MW of installed capacity across 20 countries, WEH said in a press release. CWP operates wind farms as far away as Eastern Europe, but its Australian assets and potential were the chief draw for WEH.

“The Australian market offers tremendous potential over the long term and this is the opportune time to invest in the country, with increasing government support and positive moves around certificate pricing promoting the growth of the renewable industry. I look forward to working closely with CWP’s management team as we seek to achieve our global aspirations,” said Emma Collins, chief executive officer of WEH.

Reducing the government’s burden in generating electricity was the rationale behind its plan to allow homes and businesses to generate more power through rooftop solar, said Energy Minister Anantaporn Kanjanarat.

Under the plan, each house will be allowed to generate as much as 10 kilowatts, while factories will be permitted to produce as much as 40 kilowatts, he said.  The plan will officially begin by July and power generation is expected to start early next year.