Community-owned renewable power powers ahead

“Energy for All” is the program that allows communities and private investors to co-fund power plants fueled by renewables. It is on track and the government expects to sign the first purchase agreements in March, government officials said last week.

Under the “Energy for All” program, the government will purchase power from the communities and investors. It is a groundbreaking move that would loosen the hold on power production by state agencies and large corporations.

The program could be described as ‘democratization of energy,’ aside from being an advance in green energy, sustainability and environmental protection.

Last week, the National Energy Policy Council passed a resolution to open a bidding process for power purchasing agreements in January 2021. Deputy Prime Minister Supattanapong Punmeechaow, who is also the Energy Minister, said that public hearings would be held in December 2020 so that the process will be transparent and members of the public can have their say.

A shortlist of communities and investors who could be awarded agreements would be published in March 2021, Supattanapong said, with signings following shortly after.

He expects power from the “Energy for All” projects to come online in 2024.

Thai policymakers and economists have been advocating for a greater degree of decentralization in government and business as a means of making development more widespread, equitable and advanced.

The “Energy for All” program could provide one model for successful decentralization in a sector.

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