Solar technology workshop for Bo Nok & Ban Krut villagers

Feature story - May 19, 2003
More than 60 community leaders and villagers from Ban Krut and Bo Nok have completed a workshop on solar technology over the weekend. The workshop, conducted by Greenpeace and Thai Agency Engineering Co. Ltd., explained in details the adverse impacts of global warming, the benefits of renewable energy and technical aspects of solar technology.

"We are happy that we now have the capacity to operate and maintain the solar systems in our respective communities. We have struggled so much in our fight against polluting energy sources like coal, and to make the government understand that we want only energy sources that preserve the environment and our livelihood. This is our contribution to the global movement to reduce the impacts of global warming," said Jintana Kaewkhao, leader of Ban Krut Conservation group.

In April 2002, Greenpeace with assistance from Thai Agency Engineering installed two solar pv systems in Bo Nok and Ban Krut to demonstrate the practicality and affordability of clean energy in the two communities. The capacity of both is 3.85 kW and are already providing free electricity to community centers and schools in both villages.

As part of the project, the solar technology workshop was designed to provide technical know-how to villagers, who for a long time have wished to be able to manage clean sustainable energy sources in their villages.

"People, once presented with alternatives, will always choose energy sources that will preserve their way of life, their community and environment. The government should always bear this in mind when they set out on large projects which will destroy communities and nature," said Penrapee Noparumpa, Climate and Energy Campaigner of Greenpeace Southeast Asia.

Thailand's solar energy market is poised to grow exponentially in the next few years. The Kingdom currently has an installed solar generating capacity of 5 megawatts. A government solar project in Maehongson, billed as one of the world's largest solar generation project, will bring this capacity to a total of 10 megawatts once completed.