Energy Ministry ready to fund 1,000 renewables projects

The Ministry of Energy has set aside over $60 million to fund more than one thousand small-scale energy efficiency and renewable, reflecting the government’s determination to decrease reliance on fossil fuels.

Kulit Sombatsiri, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Energy, said more than three-quarters of the money would go to renewable-energy projects, with the remainder directed to 16 energy conservation efforts.

Thailand is working hard to reduce its carbon emissions in line with the Paris Agreement, and its own national plan to generate 30 percent of its energy from renewable and green sources by 2036.

The Energy Conservation (ENCON) Fund is overseeing the selection and distribution of money to the projects. Established under the 1992 Energy Conservation and Promotion Act, ENCON has become the government’s key financial mechanism to support energy efficiency and renewable energy development.

The Fund selected 1,035 projects to receive allocations. The choices were challenging, Kulit said, because there were 5,155 applications.

Next year, the Fund will change its criteria for selecting projects, he added. The Ministry of Energy is working with the Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation to formulate criteria that would produce even more fruitful investments.

“Instead of considering projects proposed under different categories, we will focus on the outcomes, including innovations, they will bring,” said Kulit.

Thailand’s 20-year national development strategy is designed to foster innovation, creativity, research and development, and green industries.

Newly-appointed Energy Minister Supattanapong Punmeechaow has also asked the Fund to use some of its resources to employ new graduates and give financial aid to students in fields related to energy, who can’t find jobs or pay tuition because of economic hardships, resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.

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