Chinese wind turbines fuel Thailand’s green transition

In Thailand’s northeastern Chaiyaphum province, several 120-meter-high wind turbines tower over picturesque hills while delivering clean energy into the local grid day and night.

The Chaiyaphum wind farm has 32 Chinese-made Goldwind wind turbines with a total capacity of 80 megawatts. They are operated by EGCO, a major energy producer affiliated with the largest state utility, the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand.

As one of the regions with the richest wind resources in Thailand, Chaiyaphum offers great conditions for wind power investments and has attracted some of the world’s leading wind turbine makers such as Vestas, Siemens Gamesa and GE.

The wind turbines provided by China’s Goldwind generate power in Chaiyaphum, Thailand, on Oct 4. SONG YU/XINHUA

Although Goldwind’s local market share is small, the company has earned a good reputation due to the quality of its customized wind turbines, said Wang Chunsheng, Goldwind Thailand’s service manager.

“Specifically designed for the low and medium wind speeds that are common in Thailand, our flexible wind towers improve energy utilization while maximizing operation time during grid fluctuations,” Wang said.

Since the wind farm started operations in 2016, there has not been a single safety incident, and operation reliability has been high, he added.

Now, it seems the company has an opportunity to play a bigger role in Thailand, a nation that has long faced the challenges of increasing energy demand and insufficient local supplies.

The Thai government has proposed to increase the proportion of renewable energy in total energy consumption to 30 percent by 2036.For wind power alone, Thailand plans to double its current capacities by the end of 2030.

Based on this road map, EGCO has already considered further cooperation with its Chinese partner.

“Goldwind has proved itself to be a reliable strategic partner in the clean energy sector with state-of-the-art technology and reliable products,” Chaiwut Saengpredekorn, general manager of EGCO’s Power Plant Business 3, said.

Goldwind is one of several Chinese companies that have been active in Thailand’s renewable energy market. Well-known Sino-Thai cooperation projects also include the hydro-floating solar hybrid project at Sirindhorn Dam, which launched its commercial operations late last year.

In addition, Chinese carmakers like SAIC, Great Wall Motor and BYD have successively set up factories in Thailand, becoming strong competitors in the country’s electric vehicle market.

These activities exemplify how Chinese companies become important puzzle pieces in Thailand’s green energy transformations.

Speaking highly of Chinese technology, Chaiwut said he believes that Chinese companies are valuable partners and offer globally competitive products.