Solar power provider expects strong second half on rooftop sales

Thailand’s largest solar power provider, SPCG, announced last week that it is expecting an excellent financial performance in the second half of this year from strong sales of rooftop solar modules as Board of Investment incentives for rooftop solar systems kick in, spurring factories, office buildings and residential complexes to adopt the technology.

During the first half of 2016, SPCG said it had purchase orders for solar rooftop systems totaling 3megawatts (MW) from clients including the Bank of Thailand, the Stock Exchange of Thailand, Sang Chai Meter Company and Enkei Corporation. SPCG is also engaged in pilot projects with the Metropolitan Electric Authority and the Provincial Electric Authority in which it could potentially sell 100 MW of solar-produced power to those state agencies.

Listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand, SPCG is the largest solar power producer in Southeast Asia. In a five-year span, the company has developed 36 solar farms generating 260 MW of power in Thailand. The company is also building a 30-MW solar farm in Japan’s Tottori prefecture and is planning a second farm in that country. As a nation, Thailand is the leader in the Southeast Asian region when it comes to producing solar and wind power. From just 2 MW of solar-produced power in 2008, the Kingdom now generates 1,420 MW of solar energy.

Thailand has set a target of producing 25 percent of its national energy supply from renewable sources by 2036, a policy in line with Thailand 4.0, a national strategy that includes green innovations and industries.

The Board of Investment has said 2016 should be a boom year for rooftop solar modules. Factors contributing to that optimistic outlook are the steep fall in prices for solar panels and incentives from the government and the BoI for the rooftop solar sector. The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) has enacted regulations that allow those who install rooftop solar systems to sell their excess power back to the state power agencies.

“The government’s constructive measures have helped to create a conducive business environment for solar investors … [with] many attractive, low-risk opportunities for foreign investors,” the BoI said earlier this year. Industry analysts in Thailand say that the systems pay for themselves within seven to 10 years.

On a larger scale, September will see bidding open for a solar farm project owned by the ERC with generating capacity of 400MW. Thailand still has the potential to add an additional 4,580MW in solar power capacity over the next 20 years, according to the Alternative Energy Development Plan for 2015-36.