Solar farms, wind farms and biomass farms have been scaling up around the world as governments and the private sector join forces, adopting renewable energy strategies to combat climate change caused by fossil-fuel emissions.
Wattanapong Thongsoi, managing director of the Tipawat Corporation Ltd, has run his biomass fuel business since 2011. The son of a rubber farmer wants to explore the potential for renewable energy, hoping to find a higher and stable income from it. Wattanapong set up factory in Lop Buri province to produce wood logs, chips, pellets and other fibre products to feed biomassenergy generators. He also exports wood pelฌlets to South Korea and Japan. Annual sales are about Bt10 million.
Wattanapong has invested about Bt20 million in his factory that proฌduces the woodbased inputs that feeds producers of biomassgenerated electricity. He has secured contracts with many farmers whose combined land area of 2,000 rai (320 hectares) produces leucaena, a fast growing tree – and Wattanapong’s raw materials for creating wood chips and pellets. He also sources the byproduct of animal feeds made from the leaf of leucaena trees.
Many farmers have divided their land to grow sugar cane to supply sugar production and leucaena trees to supply for energy production.
He is upbeat, as the government recently announced a national goal to raise consumption of renewable energy to 40 per cent of the nation’s total energy over the next 20 years. And under the Alternative Energy Development Plan (AEDP2015) the government plans to almost triple consumption of renewable energy from a current 12 per cent to 30 per cent in the next 20 years at the expense of fossil fuel consumption
The plans include an increase in biomassgenerated electricity to 5,500 megawatt from the current 2,500…