An innovative project, “Self-Reliant Solar Energy Community”, by the Nong Ta Tam Subdistrict Administrative Organisation, Prachuap Khiri Khan has won a United Nations Public Service Award 2019 (UNPSA) in the effective and responsible public institutions category
The Self-reliant Solar Energy Community initiative now provides 100 percent of the households in the sub-district with low-cost solar energy, facilitated learning centres with community technicians, and promotes revolving capital for purchasing solar energy equipment. The outcomes include knowledge of solar energy, environmental sustainability and CO2 reduction.
Nong Ta Tam Subdistrict Administrative Organization is located in Pranburi district, Prachuap Khiri Khan. There are 12 villages with a hilly topography as well as basins. Agriculture is the main activity with villagers usually planting cash crops such as pineapple, coconut, and rubber trees.
About 400 households did not have access to basic electricity, which greatly affected living standards. This was because these households are located on military safety land governed by the Thanarat infantry camp. They are not allowed to have electricity posts to provide electricity to the households.
This issue has now been solved in an efficient and responsible way with every household able to access electricity from solar energy for pumping water and other uses.
Mr. Montri Chuewongsakul, chief executive of the Nong ta tam SAO, said villagers in Ban Wang Won had long suffered from the problem of electricity scarcity. When the issue was raised with the administration, a budget was allocated for the project called ‘Self-reliant Solar Energy Community.’ The project also provided knowledge about solar energy to villagers. They learnt how to generate electricity from solar energy, using solar panels correctly and how to fix solar panels when they are out of order or broken.
Before winning the award from UNPSA, Nong Ta Tam was second runner-up at a national level with an award of 3 million THB spent on purchasing solar energy equipment such as solar panels and batteries.
“Since Nong Ta Tam created the solar energy system, villagers feel much better.” he said.
“Not only do they use solar energy to improve daily life, but they also use it to support their incomes in the long term. This alternative energy source helps villagers to decrease monthly electrical bill,” he added.
Mr. Montri said that “solar power is the conversion of energy from sunlight into electricity. If any places in Thailand are facing the same problem, they can take learn from this initiative to solve their problems.”