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9 Apr 2020

Energy

Hybrid Biomass Community Power Plants Meet Business Goals and Bolster Farm Income (Current Issue No.3096)

​Community power plant project is considered one of the important strategic policies to not only build sustainability in energy consumption across communities, but also generate extra income for local residents via sales of agricultural-based materials as fuel. Biomass community power plants may help farmers to enjoy maximum benefit from selling agricultural waste, in particular agricultural-based materials collected from their farms that have not been fully utilized. At the same time, the government is trying to promote operators of community biomass power plants to bolster income for farmers, as well.

The use of biomass from farms alone, however, may create a restriction in terms of the size of a power plant to be invested and this has discouraged investors. Therefore, using biomass from both farms and agricultural processing plants, plus establishing a joint venture between local residents and owners of agricultural processing plants may be a viable guideline to allow operators to meet their business goals while responding to the purpose of a community power plant project, i.e., to create wealth for farmers.   

Operators of hybrid biomass community power plants may enjoy higher annual profit and shorter payback period. A 3 MW hybrid biomass community power plant generally generates profit of roughly THB14.6 million and its payback period is 8.2 years, while a 10 MW power plant generates profit of around THB57.1 million and its payback period of 7 years.