Thai company Wind Energy Holdings has borrowed US$1.14bn from Siam Commercial Bank to fund five onshore wind farms in the country.
This huge financing will see the projects come online by the first quarter of 2019 and will significantly increase the 270MW of energy the company is currently generating in Thailand.
Wind Energy Holdings currently generates more than 92% of Thailand’s wind power, and is the largest producer of wind energy in Southeast Asia.
A recent report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the Thai ministry of energy found that renewable energy could account for 37% of the country’s electricity by 2036.
The report says that electricity demand in Thailand will grow by 90% over the next 20 years, as the population grows and industry matures.
Currently, around 18% of Thailand’s power is generated from renewable sources. The bulk is generated from fossil fuel products, with natural gas, condensate and crude oil, and coal accounting for 67% of total energy production.
“Accelerating the deployment of renewable energy in Thailand can underpin a period of sustainable economic growth that decarbonises the energy system while also lowering costs, creating jobs and improving energy access across the country. The switch to renewable energy represents more than just an energy transition in Thailand – it can support a complete economic transformation,” says IRENA director general Adnan Amin.
Wind Energy Holdings, which is owned by the KPN Group, is working with suppliers Vesta and General Electric on the project, which CEO Emma Collins says will “bring to the Southeast Asian market the latest low wind technology and achieve capacity factors that are normally reserved for higher wind sites in Europe”.
2017 has been a strong year for renewable energy across Asia Pacific, with the price of power falling throughout the region, as tariffs and the price of generating equipment come down.
A report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance found that Asia will hit peak coal much sooner than anticipated, by 2024, with a rapid increase in renewable energy investment set to meet the region’s growing power needs.
By 2040, there will be US$10.2tn invested in new power generation capacity worldwide, of which US$4.8tn will be in Asia, data from the New Energy Outlook 2017 report found. In Asia, one-third of this investment will be in wind power, one-third in solar, with 18% going to nuclear and 10% to coal and gas.
The figures outline the huge swing expected to take place in the world’s energy mix over the coming decades, and also the massive opportunities awaiting lenders, investors and developers in Asia Pacific.
In response to this growing demand for renewable energy, infrastructure investment firm Susi Partners and environmental solutions company South Pole Group combined to launch an energy infrastructure fund for Southeast Asia in July.
The €250mn fund will invest in up to 30 renewable energy projects throughout the region, focusing on Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam, channelling funds secured from institutional investors.