SunSawang provides energy access solutions by offering a portfolio of solar electricity options for rural villages in Thailand, ranging from personal-use lanterns, mobile chargers up to DC and AC home systems. Operating from Mae Sot district, located in Tak province, SunSawang ensures energy sustainability while creating opportunity by recruiting and training local village technicians to provide routine maintenance services for home systems.

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Project Executive Summary

Border Green Energy Team (BGET) is a Thailand-based, non-profit organization that provides rural communities along the Thai-Burma border with different types of renewable sources of energy for their households, as well as providing maintenance training and instruction to locals. The company aims to increase access to clean energy and thereby improve the quality of life for those communities in the border region.

BGET is currently in the process of converting the solar portion of its business into a for-profit venture, called SunSawang. The pilot program was launched in the aftermath of the Thai government’s 2004 push to bring 200,000 photovoltaic solar panels to rural villages on the Thai-Burma border. However, the government ultimately failed due to a lack of technical follow through and inadequate installation procedures, resulting in the majority of the solar panels becoming non-operational. SunSawang saw an opportunity to rectify the failings of the Thai government by creating a for-profit business which will repair, maintain, and train technicians to work on the faulty systems as well as offering new solar home systems and small solar products for purchase, such as lanterns, cell phone chargers, and appliances.

Several tools were used to identify the most effective strategies for SunSawang to implement. These include a strategy canvas, scenario planning and a SWOT analysis. From these analysis techniques, two primary strategies emerged:

  1. Community Collective Purchasing and Promotion, and
  2. Cooperative Purchasing of Supplies.

By implementing both of these primary strategies, SunSawang can help improve the lives of rural Thai villagers.