Thailand Postpones Net Energy Metering Scheme for Rooftop Solar Panels

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The Thai government has made the decision to delay the implementation of the Net Energy Metering (NEM) scheme, which allows households with rooftop solar panels to sell excess electricity back to the utility. Instead, consumers will continue to sell their surplus electricity at a fixed rate of 2.20 baht per unit.

The Energy Ministry conducted a thorough study that identified various challenges associated with the NEM scheme’s implementation. These challenges include regulatory and legal issues, technical considerations, and potential impacts on the stability of the electricity grid.

In terms of regulations and laws, the current framework does not support offsetting households’ excess electricity with electricity suppliers. Additionally, calculating value-added tax for such transactions requires a tax base exemption from the Revenue Department.

From a technical standpoint, the fluctuating and uncertain nature of solar-generated electricity can lead to imbalances in the electricity grid. These imbalances may result in damage to electrical devices, reduced overall efficiency, and shortened lifespans. If a substantial amount of solar-generated electricity flows back into the grid, adjustments and resizing of protective equipment in the electrical system may be necessary. Furthermore, control and management systems must be implemented to ensure the quality and reliability of the entire electricity system.

Given these challenges, the government has decided to temporarily halt the NEM scheme. This decision aims to address concerns related to regulatory compliance, technical feasibility, and grid stability. It also demonstrates the government’s commitment to finding effective and sustainable ways to promote renewable energy usage at the consumer level.

The administration will conduct further evaluations to assess the challenges and explore potential solutions for implementing a robust and efficient NEM scheme. The ultimate goal is to encourage the use of renewable energy sources and promote the conservation of non-renewable energy for a sustainable future.

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