Assessing RE hybridization potential – GIZ field work on Thai islands

“Koh Mak Noi is one of the most forgotten islands [in Southern Thailand] and deserves attention and support towards its sustainable development.”

Stated Dumrong Sinto, the Chief Executive of the regional Sub-District Authority Organization, which is the political body responsible for the very local island in the Andaman Sea. He described the lack of reliable electricity access and its impact on the livelihood and economic situation of Mak Noi’s population in a community meeting held during the site assessment on three Thai islands conducted by GIZ and a technical consultant.

As on most Thailand’s off-grid islands, the local population highly depends on electricity supplied by diesel generators. The problem these islands face is that of limited, expensive and intermittent supply. Renewable-Energy-Diesel Hybrid Systems could tackle the challenge of reaching the last mile with reliable electricity access. They are a possible answer to limited electricity access and expensive, intermittent supply.

The absence of proper feasibility assessments for such systems is a major barrier to their implementation. This is where the project comes in: In March 2017, GIZ alongside a technical consultant traveled to 3 selected islands, assessed the potential and conducted surveys to better evaluate local contexts and feasibility to implement RE hybrid grid systems on these off-grid islands.

The “RE Hybrid Grid Systems for Thai Islands” project implemented by GIZ and supported by the Rockefeller Foundation aims to enable system installation on the ground focusing on the development of community-based business models and appropriate modes of operation to ensure local value creation and long-term operation.

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