UNDP joins Alliance to Promote Renewable Energy in Mae Hong Son

26 Jan 2011

imageUNDP Thailand : Renewable Energy will help Mae Hong Son Province become energy sufficient, and quick.

Mae Hong Son is going where no province has gone before. It aims to become the first province in Thailand to become completely energy sufficient, with help from a new UNDP project. UNDP Thailand and key partners signed a declaration on January 29, kicking off a transformative new renewable energy project at Doi Kong Mu Temple in Mae Hong Son.

The event was chaired by Deputy Governor, Taweesak Wattanathammarak and Deputy Permanent Secretary of Energy Kurujit Nakhonthap.This project, entitled, ‘Promoting Renewable Energy in Mae Hong Son and Nearby Province’ receives $2.7 million in financial support from the Global Environment Facility (GEF). It aims to increase the amount of on-grid electricity generated by renewable energy in Mae Hong Son from 17 MW to 27 MW in five years, through strengthening institutional and management of renewable energy, creating financial incentives, enhancing technical capacity on operation and maintenance, as well as promoting the replication and knowledge management. Targeted types of renewable energy include micro-hydro power, biomass, and solar.

It is part of the Ministry of Energy’s effort to enable Mae Hong Son to be a pilot province in 100% use of renewable energy.“Mae Hong Son is remote and poor, but it is also well-endowed with natural resources with great potential for renewable energy development,” said Mr.Twarath Sutabutr, Deputy Director General of Ministry of Energy’s Department of Alternative Energy Development and Efficiency.

“We are pleased to be able to draw supports from different agencies to support Mae Hong Son to develop this potential, which will provide an example for other provinces in Thailand.”

Apart from this UNDP/GEF project, there are two parallel projects on renewable energy in Mae Hong Son. One is the master plan for the pilot energy province conducted by Chiang Mai’s Energy Research and Development Institute. The other is the UN Joint Programme on “Integrated Highland Livelihood Development in Mae Hong Son,” which has a component on promoting off-grid renewable energy.

“UNDP is honoured to be a significant part of this effort to promote renewable energy as part of the sustainable development and improving quality of live for the poor and the vulnerable,’ said Ms. Gwi-Yeop Son, Resident Representative of UNDP Thailand, in her interview with the Thailand Public Broadcasting Services (TPBS) at the event.

Key partners in the project are Thailand Environment Institute (TEI), Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT), Provincial Electricity Generating Authority (PEA), and Bank of Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC).