Phuket is continuing to implement its project to use renewable energy on Racha and Lon Islands, and reduce energy used by fossil fuels. The project is being coordinated by ESCO Fund, Ministry of Energy, and Swedish Fund.
Jirasak Thamavej of the Phuket Energy Office, discussed the progression of the project and Tawarat Sutabutr, deputy director of Department of Alternative Energy Development and Efficiency – Ministry of Energy, in conjunction with officers from Energy Consevation and Renewable Fund (ESCO Fund) arranged a meeting with 7 hotels on The Racha Yai Island to discuss the possibility of reducing the use of fossil fuels.
Each month, resorts, bungalows and small hotels use about a hundred Baht worth of oil in their generators, sometimes higher depending on oil prices. However, it is necessary to find an alternative energy source to reduce the cost and use of oil. The Ministry of Energy pointed out that Phuket should change from oil to other forms of renewable energy.
ESCO Fund proposed investment financing for renewable energy to the operators on the island, but have not yet talked in detail about its implementation. The foundation will soon visit to collect all the relevant data. The use of wind as a source of renewable energy on the island is a possibility as initial data found that due to the islands position it receives a lot of natural sea breeze. There is also a possibility of using solar power or bio-gas produced from waste.
Jirasak also mentioned about the use of renewable energy on Lon Island using a combination of wind, hydro power from diesel and solar power. The estimated budget for this would be around 18 million Baht.
“We made a budget request to division 2, who are strongly in support of the Department of Energy and the Fund in Sweden.”
Lon Island is about 5 kilometers away from the coast of Phuket and is outside the area of the Electricity Authority. The island has about 100 households, a school and a public health center; most of its inhabitants are fisherman, rubber plantation farmers or have a tourist business. The island has its own fresh water resource. The majority of the population lives together as a group within a radius of less than 2 kilometers and use electricity from diesel engines. The villagers have to pay 2,000 Baht for electricity for just 2-3 hours use.
The survey found that Lon Island also has wind energy potential. It is a flat island with wind coming from both directions.
The preliminary survey revealed that Lon Island can supply 100 kilo-watts of electricity by running a combination of wind power, solar energy, and diesel engines.