Energy Ministry mulls Bt2 billion fund for energy conservation

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BANGKOK, Jan 23 – The Energy Ministry is considering setting up a Bt2 billion revolving fund to boost Thailand’s energy conservation, according to a senior official.

Amnuay Thongsathitya, director general of the Department of Alternative Energy Development and Efficiency (DEDE), said the Bt2 billion fund will enable the Energy Ministry to co-invest with energy conservation-oriented companies which offer yields in less than seven years.

He was confident that the investment is in line with the ministry’s projected reduction of energy consumption by 25 per cent in 2030.

Wichianchot Sukchotrat, deputy minister, said the ministry has encouraged the private sector to invest in energy conservation ventures in the last five years through the formation of the ESCO Fund – a Bt500 million grant from DEDE.

The non-profit Energy Conservation Foundation of Thailand (ECFT), appointed by DEDE as fund manager, has invested in clean and renewable energy. It is authorised to provide capital and assist small- and medium-sized businesses in project development and technical assistance.

A total of 170 companies joined the first phase of the ESCO Fund, contributing to a total investment of Bt3.31 billion on energy conservation enterprises. The investment has led to energy conservation at a value of Bt545 million per year.

Pol Maj-Gen Wichianchot said the second phase of ESCO Fund (2012-2013) will result in energy conservation at a total value of over Bt5 billion per year.

The Energy Ministry is proposing the third phase of ESCO Fund at Bt500 million – an investment that will boost the efficiency of Thailand’s industrial sector and competitiveness in the global market.

This is part of the government’s 20-year energy conservation plan, aimed at reducing energy consumption by 25 per cent within 2030, he explained.