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Thailand’s Blockchain Solar Power Producers Face Extra Fees to Offset State Utility Losses

Last Updated March 4, 2021 3:38 PM
Mark Emem
Last Updated March 4, 2021 3:38 PM

Blockchain-enabled independent power producers in Thailand pose such a threat to the state-run power generator and distributor that they will be required to pay extra in order to cushion the state utility from the disruption.

According to Viraphol Jirapraditkul, a member of Thailand’s Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), new regulations are currently being drafted which will see the blockchain-enabled solar power producers charged extra. This is with a view of assisting the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand withstand the impact of competition that is set to come as the growth of independent power production in the country booms.

Sharing the Burden

Initially reported  by the Nikkei Asian Review, the proposed fee that the blockchain-enabled power producers will be charged will be used to cover the expenses that the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand incurs in securing and maintaining the grid.

“The number of household solar rooftop power generators is increasing rapidly. That’s why the ERC needs to develop regulation that is fair for everybody,” said Jirapraditkul.

However, no information has been provided regarding how much the solar power producers will be charged or even when the fees will come into effect.

As previously reported by CCN.com, Thailand has seen a growing number of firms using blockchain to assist homeowners and other independent power producers make money from the solar panels mounted on their roofs by enabling blockchain-based peer-to-peer marketplaces. This has had the effect of cutting the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand out of the market.

Consumer-Friendly and Environment-Friendly

Late last month, for instance, Australia’s blockchain-based P2P energy marketplace, Power Ledger, started trials in Bangkok allowing homeowners to sell the excess solar electricity they generate as well as buy the same when experiencing shortfalls. The trials are being conducted in partnership with BCPG, a unit of government-owned oil refiner Bangchak.

According to the managing director of Power Ledger, David Martin, this will not only be good for the environment but also for consumers’ pockets.

“By enabling trade in renewable energy, the community meets its own energy demands, leading to lower bills for buyers, better prices for sellers, and a smaller carbon footprint for all,” Martin was reported as having said in an interview as CCN.com reported at the time.

Rising Production

Other initiatives include BCPG partnering with Sansiri, a real estate developer with a view of offering a blockchain-based solar power system in Thailand’s capital which has a power generation potential of 635kW. Additionally, solar panel installer Banpu Infinergy is also developing a blockchain-based platform.

Currently, the amount of solar electricity that is generated by households in Thailand has reached 130 MW and by the close of this year, the figure is expected to hit 230MW.

Featured image from Shutterstock.