Suntech May Invest in Manufacturing Facility in Thailand

Suntech, the world’s largest producer of silicon solar modules, is looking to expand its manufacturing operations in Asia according to the Bangkok Post. Thailand is one of the key targets for Suntech, though expansion may largely depend on the Thai government’s clarification of its solar energy policy.

Thailand was Suntech’s second largest market in the Asia-Pacific region last year after Australia. In 2010, Suntech supplied Thailand’s largest solar project of 44 MW.

Thailand’s solar energy market has seen tremendous growth as a direct result of the implementation of an “adder” electricity tariff, similar to feed-in tariff schemes in other parts of the world, most notably Germany and Spain.

Thailand’s current target of 500 MW by 2022 using the current tariff rate is seen as low and may potentially limit solar energy potential in Thailand. Those close to the situation, including Anusorn Saengnimnuan, president of Bangchak Petroleum Plc. want the target to be as much as 3,000 MW.

Meanwhile, Suntech keeps on rolling with the expectation to ship at least 2.2 GW of solar products by the end of 2011.

Walter Wang is Managing Editor of CleanTechies. You can follow Walter on twitter: @energytaxprof.

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