The solar thermal sector in Thailand finds its voice. After one year of preparation, the Solar Thermal Association (STA) is very close to being approved by the government. “We expect approval by January 2009”, says STA president Somsak Chutanan, CEO of the company Infratech Engineering & Services. It will be exactly one year after officially founding the association in January 2008.
So far, 19 companies are members. “When official registration has been completed, STA will start inviting more companies to join it”, says Chutanan According to the articles of the association, manufacturers will become “Ordinary Members”. All others can be “Associated Members”. The latter will be able to participate in all of the association’s activities, but pay less annual membership fee and possess no voting right.
Two major objectives should be achieved by founding the STA:
• to improve communication between manufacturers and the government
• to improve the quality of installed systems.
“We will try to secure governmental support for solar thermal technology in various areas, among them a subsidy programme, testing facilities, public awareness and tax measures”, promises Chutanan.
The first big step forward is the rebate programme started by the Government in January of 2008. The Department of alternative Energy Development and Efficiency (DEDE), formerly known as the National Energy Authority, will reportedly subsidise an increasing amount of square metres of collector area in commercial applications during the next years. The first round of subsidies was distributed in September 2008 (for around 5,000 m2). In 2009, approximately 10,000 m2 should profit from the subsidy programme, in 2010 round about 15,000 m2.
Further details about the first round of the subsidy programme in Thailand: http://www.solarthermalworld.org/content/government-subsidy-programme-2015
Solar Thermal Association
c/o Infratech Engineering & Services Company Limited. Somsak Chutanan
518/5 Ploenchit road
Phone +662/255 5910
Fax +662/255 5911