Under the Energy Conservation Programme (ENCON) launched in 1992, the Energy Conservation and Promotion Fund was established to provide financial support to introduce and promote new and renewable energy technologies. The capital for the fund was initially secured through the existing Oil Fund. Levies from petroleum producers and importers, power surcharges, as well as remittance rates from consumer petrol prices, ensures continuous capital inflow to the Fund.
ENCON is meant to contribute to promoting energy conservation through awareness raising, as well as the adoption of energy efficient technologies and promoting the development of renewable energy sources. ENCON has various programmes targeting various groups and sectors.
Under the Voluntary Programme, the ENCON Fund ficially supports the development of use of renewable energy sources. This is undertaken through three sub-programmes: renewable energy and rural industry, industry liaison, and research and development.
The Renewable Energy and Rural Industry sub-programme focuses on opportunities to develop fuel substitution and on the introduction and dissemination of renewable energy technology, especially technology that uses renewable energy sources more efficiently, by providing full operational cost for project owners and granting financial support in the form of interest subsidies for project participants. Rural industries under the energy conservation programme are manufacturing facilities located in non-urban areas.
A typical example of use of renewable energy in large-scale industries is the burning of agro-industrial waste products like sugar-cane bagasse and rice husks. Successful projects under the sub-programme include biogas production. The Industrial Liaison sub-programme has funded many small and large scale demonstration projects. Its efforts include information dissemination for proven technology, and application of the results from research projects, emphasizing the application of technology to small industries. The purpose of this programme is to enhance the capacity of the industrial sector to produce energy-efficient and renewable energy equipment in Thailand by providing technical and financial support to establish a market. In general, the following services shall be considered under the programme: Assistance and financial support for market expansion for energy-efficient or renewable energy equipment in Thailand.
The following areas of support are envisaged:
- Market research and formulation of a marketing plan
- PR activities for energy-efficient material or equipment
- Support for the producer/distributor to reduce his price to the consumer
- Support to the users of energy-efficient equipment
- Execution of activities within the scope of an equipment labelling programme.
Support to centres for the dissemination of information on energy conservation, such as the Thailand Energy Conservation Centre, and for establishing centres. Communications, training and incentives to appropriate service industry firms to ensure that they become proficient in installing equipment in a manner that guarantees efficient operation, and also to encourage them to make efficiency improvements a part of their service and maintece business. Support for demonstration projects of energy conservation technologies in buildings and factories. Dissemination of general technical information about technological options and ideas developed elsewhere (energy database).
The Research and Development sub-programme aims at developing new or improving existing technologies, with support to small scale demonstration projects as well as information dissemination. The Fund has supported more than 50 R&D projects for energy technology development and conservation undertaken by various government agencies and academic institutions.