Alternative energy a goldmine for young Thais

your say August 19, 2014 01:00

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In Thailand there are tens of thousands of university students studying business. Their two main reasons: They want to make as much money as possible and also please their parents.

Here’s another angle. I started using solar panels 37 years ago in California and was able to power several houses satisfactorily. Fast-forward to three years ago: I endeavoured to try and make a few baht by selling Chinese-made solar panels in Thailand. One problem: each of the hundreds of responses I received wanted technical advice. I’m not much of an expert. Moreover, if I were an expert, I would want to get paid for my expertise, similar to an attorney, doctor and engineer getting paid for their advice. So, for those reasons and the fact I’m near retirement age, I’m easing out of the business.
Here’s how this relates to my opening paragraph: For any Thai men or women (with or without university degrees) who have some expertise in alternative energy, there’s a wealth of opportunity to be had. There are tens of thousands of Thai and farang who would love an alternative-power set-up for their homes or businesses – and they’re willing to pay handsomely for it. Who in Thailand has the expertise to assist them? If you call around, you’ll find there’s essentially no one.
My suggestion: Thai universities (or other qualified institutes) should offer courses in this field. Business degrees by themselves are stultifying, boring and might not even lead to a job. On the other hand, alternative energy is the wave of the future. Instead of following the crowd and (if they’re lucky) getting placed in an office cubicle in a large Bangkok building, innovative young folks could be working outdoors with cool people and helping the environment.   
Ken Albertsen
Chiang Rai