USAID and Chulalongkorn University to Collaborate on Renewable Energy Planning and Policy Development in Thailand and Lower Mekong
On January 19m 2017, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) collaborated with Chulalongkorn University, signing a memorandum of understanding to collaborate in planning and policies of renewable energy in the lower Mekong region in order to focus on studying the impact of solar energy projects to enhance the usage of alternative energy sources at Chulakongkorn University Auditorium.
Mr. Glyn T. Davies, Ambassador of the United States positioned in Thailand, participated in the signing alongside Prof. Dr. Bundhit Eua-arporn, president of Chulalongkorn University, with Ms. Beth Paige director of USAID Asia division and Prof. Kiat Ruxrungtham, M.D., vice president, supervising the research, development, and innovation participated in the signing. This deems a partnership between USAID Clean Power Asia in the field of renewable energy sources such as solar energy, wind energy, micro hydro power, and biomass energy. This helps the government in developing plans to reduce usage of fossil fuel and in increasing energy stability.
“Renewable energy is essential to sustainable development in Asia, and Thailand is a regional leader in developing and implementing clean power solutions,” said U.S. Ambassador to Thailand Glyn T. Davies. “This partnership will combine U.S. and Thai expertise to identify innovative, cost-effective strategies to increase the amount of renewable energy in Thailand and the region.”
The collaboration between the USAID Clean Power Asia program and Chulalongkorn University will produce more data on clean energy resources such as solar, wind, small hydropower and biomass. This, in turn, will better equip government ministries and agencies as they develop plans to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and improve energy security.
“USAID is a proud partner of Chulalongkorn University,” said USAID Regional Mission Development for Asia Director Beth S. Paige. “We are excited to work with their researchers and students to document the benefits of clean power in Thailand. We hope this research will prove beneficial to others in the region who want to pursue such initiatives.”
Chulalongkorn University has been commissioned by Thailand’s Department of Alternative Energy Development and Efficiency to evaluate the national Rooftop Photovoltaic Pilot Project, which is promoting investment in up to 100 megawatts of rooftop solar systems. The university’s Energy Research Institute is also analyzing energy planning scenarios for the Thai Ministry of Energy, while the Faculty of Engineering conducts technical analyses on the impacts of distributed solar systems.
“Thailand and ASEAN have immense potential for renewable energy, and it needs to be developed and matched with other conventional energy resources,” said Chulalongkorn University President, Professor Bundhit Eua-arporn. “This partnership will help support the development of sound renewable energy, policies and practices based on an improved understanding of social, economic and technical factors.” USAID Clean Power Asia is a five-year program implemented by Abt Associates that promotes planning, policy, and investment in grid-connected renewable energy.