Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 06/02/2014 -- We are maintaining both our short- and long-term forecasts for the Thai power sector this quarter. We had incorporated several factors into our analysis in Q114, such as the shutdowns and maintenance of several gas fields as well as the country's new power development plan. At present, our outlook remains stable, and we continue to see the country's reliance on electricity imports increasing over our forecast period. The outlook for renewable energy also appears relatively positive, with both the residential and commercial solar sectors set to undergo a period of strong growth.
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We are maintaining our 2014 electricity generation growth forecast for Thailand at 2.7% this quarter. We had revised our forecast down from 4.6% to 2.7% in the first quarter of 2014 to account for shutdowns and maintenance of several gas fields in Thailand, which would have negative impacts on gas-fired generation in 2014.
We are also maintaining our long-term forecasts for the Thai electricity sector this quarter. We had made several major changes to our forecasts in the previous quarter in light of the country's new power development plan (PDP). On October 21 2013, the Thai Ministry of Energy announced that it would be amending the PDP before the end of 2013. While the exact details of the revisions have not yet been announced, several key amendments that the Ministry has outlined include prioritising coal as the preferred fuel for power generation and stepping up imports of hydropower from neighbouring countries.
Key trends and regulatory changes in the industry:
- The Thai government updated its green energy agenda in March 2012 with the ambitious 'Alternative Energy Development Plan' (2012-2021). The plan states that 25% of total energy consumption would derive from alternative energy sources, and set targets of 2GW of solar capacity, 1.2GW of wind capacity and 3.63GW of biomass, all by 2021.
- On July 16, the Thai government introduced a Feed-in Tariff (FiT) programme for up to 1,000MW of rooftop and village-based solar projects. These projects would qualify for 25-year power purchase agreements with tariffs as high as THB9.75/kWh.
- Construction on the controversial Xayaburi dam has restarted, despite opposition from Vietnam and Cambodia. The Thai government also affirmed a power purchase agreement for 95% of the dam's electricity output in January 2012, going against the regional decision-making process.
- The Thai government is set to open bids for six gas-based independent power projects (IPPs) with a capacity of 5,400MW. This was announced after Thailand's National Energy Policy Council approved the third revision of the country's 2010-2030 power development plant. All IPPs use natural gas.
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