Rooftop Solar PV Market in Thailand ‘Largely Untapped’

Rooftop solar in Thailand faces several challenges that have left the industry “largely untapped,” according to a recent report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

According to IRENA’s outlook for the country, the residential rooftop solar market has suffered the most, due to market dynamics that make installation unattractive to homeowners.

The report said that rooftop solar PV can only be used for self-consumption, eliminating the potential use of solar system power by residential households, as they are mostly not at home to use the electricity during the daytime.

The commercial and industrial, market, however, has fared better. For those users, rooftop solar PV can match their load profile, the report said.

According to the report, more economic incentives, such as a net metering scheme, would help grow the rooftop solar sector in Thailand.  

In addition, new business models using solar PV as part of an energy efficiency program for buildings to lower electricity bills could speed up the adoption of rooftop solar PV. The report noted, however, that unlocking the potential of rooftop solar, would require stronger engagement from the country’s electricity generation and distribution providers, the Metropolitan Electricity Authority and the Provincial Electricity Authority.

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Jennifer Delony, analyst for TransmissionHub, started her career as a B2B news editor in the local and long-distance telecommunications industries in the '90s. Jennifer began covering renewable energy issues at the local level in 2005 and covered U.S. and Canadian utility-scale wind energy as editor of North American Windpower magazine from 2006-2009. She also provides analysis for the oil and natural gas sectors as editor of Oilman Magazine.

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