Wind energy in Thailand – Update 2020
Thailand is listening to the low wind of change
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Wind is caused by the uneven heating of the atmosphere by the sun. Therefore, wind power is a derivative form of solar energy. Wind turbines convert the kinetic energy in the wind into mechanical power. A generator can convert mechanical power into electricity. As examined in a study of the World Bank, only 0.2 percent of Thailand’s landmass benefits from “good to excellent” winds appropriate for large-scale wind power farms. Therefore, it makes sense to think small and to have low wind-speed technology in place. From a global perspective, wind energy resources have been in a sharp decline in regions all across the world, according to a study conducted by Chinese researchers. The effect was the most significant in Asia, where around 80 percent of sites on the continent saw a 30 percent drop in wind.
BESS: A first of its kind wind energy-plus-battery storage pilot project is currently developed in Pak Panang district, Nakhon Si Thammarat province. The 1.88 MWh battery energy storage system (BESS) is added to an existing (COD April 2019) 4 turbines x 2.5 MW wind power plant. It stores excess energy when the wind turbines generate more power than the Thai power grid can absorb, and supplies it back when the electricity network is ready to receive new power supply. Such a hybrid system improves the stability and reliability of renewable energy sources. If the pilot project is successful, the BESS-scheme could be replicated and scaled-up at new locations in Thailand and abroad.
DEDE: Thailand’s installed wind power plant capacity amounts end of 2019 roughly 1,500 MW. In Thailand, the Ministry of Energy’s Department of Alternative Energy Development and Efficiency (DEDE), promotes and supports this type of renewable energy by 70 wind measurement stations, studies on the potential of wind power since 1975 and the wind power potential map as of 2001, which had been updated in 2009. It shows that potential wind power sources are located in the Gulf of Thailand (from Nakornsritammarat, Songkla, to Pattany) as well as some areas in Petchburi and Doi Intanon.
Additional 7 GW: Thailand’s wind industry calls for an additional 7 GW of wind energy to be installed by 2037. Stakeholders are the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), the Thailand Wind Energy Association (ThaiWEA), and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Thailand’s overall technical potential is estimated at 13-17 GW. The Thai wind industry is confident to deliver wind projects at below 2.99BHT/kWh; Further reduction of FiT is possible below 2.5 THB/kWH if projects can be streamlined and other government support is provided.
Misuse of ALRO land: Sor Por Kor land is administrated by the governmental Agricultural Land Reform Office and, therefore, usually called ALRO-Land. In the past, wind farms had mostly been erected on Sor Por Kor land, although the activity of a wind farm does not qualify as farming as outlined by such land scheme. Details are described in the article “Wind farms and the Sor Por Kor case“.
Wind tenders: EGAT, the governmental public utility is delaying its announced tender processes for wind farms. More information to be followed soon.
Professional services offer from Bangkok for wind farm developments and acquisitions in Thailand
PUGNATORIUS Ltd. is the Bangkok-based specialist provider of legal services and tax advice on foreign investments in Thailand’s manufacturing and service industries as well as property acquisitions and developments. Sophisticated solutions in a complex legal environment. Serious legal and tax advice in the land of smile. Wind energy and other forms of renewable energy are one of the law firm’s areas of competence, long-standing experience, and unique market reputation. This includes standard as well as first-of-a-kind developments.
Professional services: The law firm advises on the (i) structuring of wind farm developments, secured and corporate and ownership structures, fit for ALRO land investments and applications for investment promotion by Thailand’s BOI, (ii) accomplishes property due diligence examinations on the Sor Por Kor, forestry and other lands, (iii) assists in licensing issues and power purchase agreements, advice on Feed-in-Tariff (FiT), power grid and transmission infrastructure, (iv) advises and assists in construction, EPC, and M&O agreements, as well as joint-venture negotiations of the project sponsor with EGAT and other stakeholders, (v) reviews on behalf of the lenders the legal robustness of the plant design, interconnection arrangements and project contracts, (vi) provides legal opinions on the legal considerations and risks when using ALRO land for a wind farm project. and, (vii) provides other professional services for greenfield or brownfield wind farms.
The terms for assigning PUGNATORIUS Ltd. are described at “Legal advice, tax structuring, transaction support services and business matchmaking on Thailand’s renewable energy markets.”