Visionary Thai Island Communities Choose Renewable Energy

 My vision for Phra-Thong Island is that it is 100 % renewable within the next 4 years!” – Mr. Atthapol Meepian.
 

This remarkable statement by Mr. Atthapol Meepian, the head of Koh Phra Thong Sub-District Authority Organization, shines at the kick-off of the new GIZ “Renewable Energy Hybrid Grid Systems for Thai Islands” project in Bangkok. The Sub-District Authority Organization is the local political body responsible for this island. 
While Thailand has done well in electrifying the country and currently has a 99% electrification rate, many island communities are still living with limited access to electricity. Thailand has more than 900 islands, of which 200 are inhabited, yet just 20 islands are connected to the national grid. The remaining islands mainly rely on privately owned diesel generators or a private operator selling power to the community. The problem these islands face is a limited, expensive and intermittent electricity supply.

For the first time, the project and the Rockefeller Foundation are joining forces. The collaboration aims to bring clean technology and sustainable business solutions to Thai islands. RE-Diesel Hybrid Grid systems are increasingly gaining popularity by tapping the electricity access gap in rural areas.
The absence of proper feasibility assessments for such systems is a major barrier to implementation. The project therefore steps into this process to enable system installation on the ground focusing on the development of community-based business models and appropriate modes of operation to ensure local value creation and long-term operation.

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