In recent years, many consumers across Asia have watched in disbelief as their energy costs have soared through the roof. But homeowners in Thailand, with some support from USAID, have a new vantage point – on the roof, where installed solar panels can help bring energy costs down, way down. Solar costs have dropped dramatically in recent years, prompting many countries to expand their solar capabilities. However, utilities are concerned that rooftop solar will slash profits as more customers produce their own electricity.
Enter the USAID Clean Power Asia program, the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and Chulalongkorn University’s Energy Research Institute. They collaborated with Thailand to tackle these financial concerns and help advance Thailand’s solar regulatory policy. Results of an economic analysis of the effects of increased distributed photovoltaics penetration in the country proved that higher penetration levels would have no impact on utility revenue and a limited impact on rates, due to the existing regulatory structure that is well suited for greater investment.