Tag: eyekandi solar

20
Apr

Thai Energy Companies Expand Across Southeast Asia

Thailand’s increase in Energy Usage

Through the technology practices taking place inside individual homes in Southeast Asia, startups including Solar and Wind companies, are expanding dramatically.

For twenty years, the Thai government have implemented renewable energy policies in support of this green tech, of which the country is now reaping the benefits. Oil and Gas Companies are also now profiting after recovering from a three-year slump, increasing electricity demand due to economic growth, and renewable technologies that have finally become competitive against fossil fuels.

Long-standing reform policies have turned Thailand’s state energy company PTT into a successful international oil and gas producer, they have encouraged the development of power producers such as Electricity Generating, and fostered the emergence of renewable energy start-up companies such as Energy Absolute.

“The power businesses in Thailand have developed expertise in this sector, and are now well placed to support energy development across the region,” said Robert Grant, Asia Pacific head at Canadian-listed SNC-Lavalin, a company focused on energy, infrastructure and mining.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) members have a combined population of more than 600 million people, with an approximate collective GDP of $3 trillion.

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), ASEAN’s energy use rose by 60 % in the last 15 years, which portrays that the region’s demand could grow another 66% by the year 2040.

“You can already see increased activity by Thai investors in the ASEAN region,” Grant said.

The expansion has been reflected in the local stock exchange, with shares of energy companies growing nearly 75% since the start of 2016, against a broader market gain of less than half that.

It’s also sparked a mass broadcast of listings, with Thai power companies having raised more than $2 billion from initial public offerings (IPOs) in 2016 and 2017.

An ‘Ecosystem for Growth’ 

Government policy “created an ecosystem for growth for Thai energy companies,” said Maria Lapiz, head of institutional research at Maybank Kim Eng Securities, with the first reforms coming in the 1990s.

That was the time when the Thai government began allowing small power generators (1-90 megawatts) to sell their power back to the national grid. Thailand was also an earlier adopter of natural gas, which now generates about 60% of the country’s electricity.

‘In 2012, Thailand was one of Asia’s first countries to introduce “feed-in” tariffs to give solar developers additional payments on top of normal prices when selling electricity to utilities, channeling investment into the sector.’

Similar tariffs have been applied to other renewable power sources, including wind, small-scale hydro, biomass and biogas.

The privatization of PTT was another big boost to the energy sector. “PTT was privatized in 2001, which helped drive growth in the energy sector from E&P to refiners and helped in the development of the Thai capital market,” said Lapiz.

According to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), Thailand is the first Southeast Asian country to be one of the top 15 solar power generators, in the world.

Early Birds in the Renewable Sector

“Thailand started development in renewable power much earlier than regional peers,” said Thidasiri Srisamith, Chief Investment Officer of Kasikorn Asset Management.

Because of the early start and positive relationships with neighbouring countries, Thailand is “a leader in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam, and will continue to expand into these countries,” she said.

Thailand’s largest solar company Superblock, has plans to grow, with a $1.8 billion  wind farm investment in Vietnam.

Thailand’s biggest wind power generator, Wind Energy Holdings, plans to start investing in solar, hydro and biomass to back up its capacity, not just in Thailand, but also in Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Bangladesh and Australia.

“Going forward, Thai power company growth will depend on the ability to secure capacity and have a steady stream of projects … which (are) increasingly coming from overseas,” said Kasikorn’s Thidasiri.

18
Apr

Thai Minister Announces Increase in Coal

Diversify the source of Fuel for Power

The Thai Energy Minister, Siri Jirapongphan, has recently announced that Thailand is expected to increase the mix of electricity generated by coal and renewables to diversify its source of fuel for power generation.

“The share of coal in our power generation mix is very low at slightly less than 20 percent,” the Energy Minister said at the International Energy Forum last week.

“We need to diversify the sources of fuel for our power generation. Having a reasonable percentage of coal to be used for power generation would be a necessity in considering the security of fuel supply to our generation system.”

In the past Thailand has relied mainly on natural gas

The power demand from the citizens is falling behind consumption, requiring the country to import more piped gas from Myanmar and more liquefied natural gas.

A plan set a few years back by the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) to build coal-fired power plants in the southern Thailand towns of Krabi and Songkhla have been delayed due to opposition from villagers and environmentalists.

“We need to conduct a more global strategic environmental assessment to identify a more suitable location to build a coal-fired power plant that Thailand needs,” Siri said, adding that a decision on the whereabouts of the coal fired power plants locations could be made towards the end of this year (2018).

 

Increase Coal Use in Thailand. Photo supplied by PennEnergy Thailand

Increase Coal Use in Thailand. Photo supplied by PennEnergy Thailand

“In terms of contribution to carbon dioxide generation, Thailand can be considered as one of the lowest in the world,” Siri said.

Authorities increased retail electricity prices by 3.5 percent last year for the first time since 2014, citing rising oil and gas prices.

Falling costs for solar panels has made the renewable resource competitive against fossil fuels.

“We have proven in several pilot projects that we can expand on our success to promote more electricity generation from renewable resources at a price which we call grid parity at 8 cents (per kilowatt hour) on a wholesale basis.”

Going forward, Siri said that Thailand will only be accepting grid-parity prices of electricity generated from renewable/green sources.

Follow this link to read the original article on the Reuters website by Florence Tan in NEW DELHI and Chayut Setboonsarng in BANGKOK; Additional reporting by Promit Mukherjee in NEW DELHI; Editing by Christian Schmollinger

13
Apr

Air Pollution: Can we see the Blue Skies of Chiang Mai again?

Air Pollution in Chiang Mai

Local farmers throughout northern Thailand continue to traditionally ‘slash and burn’ the crops, typically between February and April every year.

Particularly post-harvest rice and maize fields are set on fire in order to clear the land of plant remains and, at the same time, fertilise the soil in preparation for the replanting of crops before the rainy season starts. Unfortunately this results in chronic air pollution in and around Chiang Mai. The evidence is seen in constant smoke, haze, dust and debris in the city and surrounds.

Despite the dangerous level of air pollution in Chiang Mai, many people are still going outside without proper facemasks and many people continue to exercise and jog in the evening.

chiang mai city smog

Chiang Mai City smog

Chiang Mai Air Quality Index

 

At the time this article was written, the air quality at real time in Chiang Mai was recorded at 163. It is almost Mid-April, and the air pollution is suppose to be decreasing.

What is being done about it?

Reactionary initiatives by local authorities to combat the smog involve the implementation of fire bans (and the attendant imposition of financial penalties on those caught in violation), extinguishment of forest fires, distribution of face masks as well as the deployment of aircraft over Chiang Mai with the purpose of seeding clouds in order to artificially induce rain or to disperse large quantities of water into the air in an effort to dampen the smoke.

But is this enough?

Have the blue skies returned to our city?

Besides the tens of thousands of individuals treated for respiratory-related conditions at this time of year, the dense smog that often shrouds the city severely reduces the visibility (down to as little as 100-200m) often blocking out the sun, obscuring views of the magnificent Doi Suthep mountain, now and again preventing flights from landing at Chiang Mai Airport.

Blue skies are sometimes visible in the early hours, but maybe we’re just wanting to believe they’re returning… being it almost mid-April.

You Should Wear the Face Mask, or just go on vacation

The cheap surgical style cloth masks so often worn by local Thai people should be avoided, and so should simply just covering your nose and mouth with a bandana or similar article, as this is ineffective as a barrier against the harmful particles carried in the air. Instead, opt for a facemask/respirator which is certified to screen against the smallest and most damaging airborne impurities, and, ideally, one with a layer of activated charcoal to additionally absorb the smell of smoke.

If you’re in a situation where your finances allow, stick to the south of Thailand during this time. The beach is lovely this time of year.

The forecast for Chiang Mai’s sky

In the past, by the end of Songkran Festival, Thailand’s New Year, the rain starts to come and the air quality gets better.

Songkran has now started, and we are hoping for the best…

11
Apr

Greenlots named New Energy Pioneer, Bloomberg

About Greenlots

Greenlots is building the all-electric mobility future by delivering the next-generation of grid-enabled EV smart charging solutions. We enable utilities, cities, businesses and automakers to deploy EV charging infrastructure at scale by offering real-time visibility and control of their charging fleet and transforming EVs into a flexible grid resource.”

greenlots logo

Winners of the New Energy Pioneer award 2018

They have recently been selected as a 2018 New Energy Pioneer by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF). The winners are selected based on transformative potential and scale, technological innovation and business momentum. Greenlots’ award-winning SKY™ EV charging Network Software manages the activities between the grid and electric vehicles (EVs), EV chargers and solar and battery storage to enable a dynamic energy system that is more efficient and cleaner.

“At Greenlots, we’re dedicated to delivering cutting-edge technology to our customers,” said Brett Hauser, CEO of Greenlots. “Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s recognition of our success is gratifying because they have enormous credibility in our market. The award is further evidence that Greenlots has the top EV charging and grid management product.” Hauser will accept the award today at the Bloomberg Future of Energy Summit in New York.

Operating the largest open fast-charging network in North America, Greenlots provides EV charging software and expertise that enables utilities, cities, communities and automakers to deploy large-scale EV charging infrastructure. They provides utilities the ability to remotely control grid loads through smart charging, demand response and behind-the-meter energy storage solutions. By enabling utilities to manage complex energy loads, the company ensures that charging investments are strategic, accessible and future-proof to avoid stranded assets and to support widespread electric vehicle growth.

Recent achievements at Greenlots

Over the past 5 years, the company’s global network has delivered approximately 5 million kWh of energy over 500,000 charging sessions, reducing approximately 10 million pounds of CO2. In January, Volkswagen subsidiary Electrify America selected Greenlots as the sole provider for their network operating platform, which will manage Electrify America’s $2 billion network of high-power fast chargers that will expand highway and other EV charging capabilities across the United States. In addition, they were recently selected as a provider of cloud-based network services for Thailand‘s leading state-owned utility, the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT), alongside its ongoing work with BMW’s ChargeNow in Thailand.

Each year, BNEF identifies 10 cutting edge companies globally in the field of clean energy technology and innovation. A panel of industry experts chose Greenlots and the other winners.

The original article can be viewed here on the PR Newswire website.

05
Apr

Floating Solar Farm in Rayong and China

A giant pond inside SCG Chemicals’ plant at Rayong’s Map Ta Phut Industrial Estate was originally developed to deal with a water shortage crisis that tarnished their production about 10 years ago. The 20-rai pond (3.2 hectares), equivalent to about 10 football fields, has become an experimental site and the country’s first floating solar farm.
For visitors and viewers like us, it looks like a floating mirror in a dam. Almost half of it has been covered with about 3,400 photovoltaic cells to convert the sun’s energy into power. These cells stand on a special pontoon the company specifically built.

A floating solar farm is shown at a pond at SCG Chemicals plant in Rayong's Map Ta Phut Industrial Estate. (Photo courtesy SCG Chemicals)

A floating solar farm is shown at a pond at SCG Chemicals plant in Rayong’s Map Ta Phut Industrial Estate. (Photo courtesy SCG Chemicals)

The largest floating solar farm in the world is in the Chinese city of Huainan. It has been built on top of a former coal mine, which had become a lake after being flooded with groundwater. The 40-megawatt power plant consists of 120,000 solar panels covering an area of more than 160 football fields. The $45-million investment could help power 15,000 homes in China.

If you’re interested in having a look at the drone footage of the largest floating solar farm in the world, watch the clip!

Solar is an increasing industry, especially in Asia, and to see innovations like these, it gives us hope that it will only be rising in the coming years.

Contact us today for your personalised service and installation advice.

03
Apr

Will Thailand Give Renewable Energy a Chance?

Renewable Energy No More?

The Minister of Energy announced recently that the Thai government will no longer be purchasing electricity from renewable power projects for the next five years to come. The reason behind this is because such projects have caused retail electricity tariffs to increase by 20-25 satangs per unit, and the electricity system apparently has enough installed capacity for now.
If this policy was to be implemented, it will rewind a decade of success that Thailand has achieved on the path toward sustainable energy creation.

give renewable energy a chance

Image provided by Bangkok Post: Monks pass by a solar farm in Ayutthaya. Renewable energy, incubated over the past decade, now is ready to hatch.

Over these past 10 years, Thailand became the leader in Southeast Asia of the renewable energy sector.
As the leader, we produced more clean energy, contributing to reduced greenhouse gas emissions, creating new jobs, utilising local resources, and spurring invaluable know-how and skills for the Thai energy industry.
Renewable energy is also beneficial to the entire electricity system in the country. The Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat) has showed how solar power plants have contributed to system peak load reduction, equivalent to around 1 gigawatt of power. This one gigawatt is about the size of a nuclear power plant, or three coal-fired power plants that we have not had to build because of this renewable energy option.

The subsidy for renewables in the past has benefited all Thai people. The problem is that these benefits have not been addressed or quantified by the policymakers. Therefore the argument that renewables cause rate increases is an argument that doesn’t tell the comeplete story.

“By design, the renewable energy subsidy should eventually be cancelled once it becomes competitive with conventional electricity sources. Indeed, we are at a point now where renewable power projects in Thailand may not need a subsidy like they did before.”

“Like eggs that are ready to be hatched, Thailand’s renewable power industry has incubated over the past decade. Just about when the eggs are ready to be hatched, the government should not freeze them. A tangible and fair policy would be to open electricity generation to competition by setting up a bidding process that allows renewable power projects to demonstrate their competitiveness with fossil-fuel based power plants.” 

The original article and opinion piece was supplied by the Bangkok Post. It was written by an independent Energy Consultant based in California, USA, named Sopitsuda Tongsopit, PHD.

Let us know how you feel about this and whether or not you’d be interested in going off-grid, or simply want to have the option to generate your own renewable energy for your home. Eyekandi-Solar is here to assist you!

21
Mar

Deregulation of Energy Purchased from Private Solar Rooftops Expected

Solar rooftop power can be purchased by the DAEDE

The Department of Alternative Energy Development and Efficiency is expected to propose a project to the National Energy Policy Committee headed by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha next month, which is intended to purchase power generated from solar rooftops of households and commercial buildings.

Original article posted by Thai PBS English News

Deregulation Expected in April

The department chief Mr Praphon Wongtharua has been quoted in saying that, ‘in the initial stage, it was estimated that as much as 300 megawatts of electricity generated from solar rooftops would be purchased at a price not exceeding the price of energy sold by the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat)’.

The project which is now being decided on between the DAEDE and the energy regulatory committee before it is to be submitted to the energy policy committee chaired by the energy minister and, finally, the project will go to the National Energy Policy Committee for approval.

Mr Praphon disclosed that currently the private sector is capable of generating power from their solar rooftops for their own use at a cost relatively less than the price charged by either the metropolitan electricity authority or the provincial electricity authority.

However, he pointed out that ‘the private sector’s power generators would not gain the optimum benefits from solar rooftops if their leftover power cannot be sold into the power grid system’.

Purchase of energy from solar rooftops expected to be deregulated in April

Purchase of energy from solar rooftops expected to be deregulated in April

Benefits

It will be beneficial to the power producers if state utilities are allowed to buy energy from the private sector’s solar rooftops, he added.

The department has commissioned the Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, to conduct a study on the most appropriate format for the purchase of power generated from solar rooftops of the private sector.

There will be three categories of solar rooftop energy sellers: households, big commercial buildings of big factories, and medium-sized buildings or factories. The prices will be 2.30-2. 50 baht/ unit for households; which is less than one baht/unit for big buildings or factories; and one baht for medium-sized buildings or factories.

If you’re interested in having a solar rooftop installed on your household to enable you to benefit from this, don’t hesitate to contact us at Eyekandi-Solar!

20
Feb

Review from Jai Thep Festival, Chiang Mai

We recently took part in sponsoring a local festival in Chiang Mai, called the Jai Thep festival! We teamed up with our partners from Kovert! A local Skateboarding brand and skate ramp builders with an awesome bunch of guys n gals. We supplied our mini yellow solar truck to provide some power-from-the-sun charging equipment.

One of the great organisers from the event got in touch with us with a word of thanks. We’re very excited to be apart of the team again next year!

The Eyekandi Solar Mini Yellow Truck which provides power for charging applicances

The Eyekandi Solar Mini Yellow Truck which provides power for charging applicances

“To Eyekandi Solar 

Please pass on my gratitude to the team. I wanted to write a huge thank you to everyone that helped create something beautiful at Jai Thep. We are all so grateful. I cannot tell you how many comments we received on the yellow cars and on the skate ramp. Thank you so much, and I look forward to collaborating with you all in the future!” 

Yeah! We’ll be back… Thank you Jai Thep Festival peeps

19
Feb

Power of the Sun

Wandee Khunchornyakong built the first solar farm in Thailand eight years ago. Her company is now the largest solar power supplier in the region. See the original post here from the Bangkok Post

EARLY BIRD

Wandee Khunchornyakong always wakes up at around 5 am. As chairperson and CEO of Solar Power Company Group (SPCG), she likes to start her day when the sun rises.

Her working day ends late. She goes to bed at midnight. Hard work is her routine, which she has kept from a young age. She turns 60 this year, but retirement is not part of the plan.

Wandee built her first – and Thailand’s first – solar farm in 2010. Since then her company has grown in leaps and bounds. SPCG now has 43 subsidiaries. From its headquarters in Thong Lor, it manages 36 solar farms and has expanded the business to Japan and other ASEAN countries. Today SPCG is the largest solar-power-generating company in Southeast Asia.

As a working woman – one of only a handful in the energy industry – she never thought that her dream of generating clean energy would become the huge business it is now.

“I am not somebody who comes from a family with a big name. When I returned to work after early retirement, I chose a business that was innovative and of the kind that nobody had done before,” she said, recalling her original decision to set up the company in 2009.

Wandee had worked as an executive at several companies in different fields, including a solar-cell company. She stepped down in 2006, at the age of 48, to pursue a PhD in Educational Leadership at Suan Dusit University. She thought she would become a teacher in her senior years. But destiny had other plans.

power of the sun_wandee

VISIONARY MIND

Back in 2008, the government announced a policy to promote renewable energy development. It offered a 25-year licence for private companies to operate solar-power plants and feed electricity to the utility grid of the Provincial Electricity Authority (PEA).

At that time, the solar-farm business was in its infancy and wasn’t a priority for financial creditors. For almost a year after the policy was announced, no company applied for a license.

When Wandee learned about the government’s initiative from Dr Piyasawat Amaranand, the former Energy Minister of Surayud Chulanont’s government, it motivated her to research the solar-power-plant business.

“I was interested in solar power because it’s a global trend. I know green technology will be the future for Thailand,” she said.

She spent months studying the business possibilities until she was certain she would have a chance at success. Thailand has strong solar-radiation levels throughout the year when compared to other countries in the region, and even developed countries where solar farms have been implemented, such as Germany and Japan.

“With the same investment for setting up a solar-power plant, a solar farm in Thailand will have more energy output, perhaps double to triple that of developed countries. I knew the possibility of success was high and the risk for failure was very low,” she said.

Get in touch with our Eyekandi Solar team to get a quote for your own solar installation.

22
Jan

Energy storage a fix for renewables

Storage is not vital, but it is useful.

If the energy transition outlook, by DNV GL is correct, then almost three quarters of the electricity demand increase by 2050 will be generated by renewable energy. But with the expected increase in the renewable generation, comes a conflicting scenario: ‘How will power grids deal with the variability and intermittency of sources such as wind and PV?’

Advanced storage technologies might be able to offer good enough solutions, said Paul Gardner, segment director – Storage at DNV GL. “Storage is useful for that but it is not essential,” he said. “And on its own it is probably not sufficient to deal with the issues of high variability of, particularly wind and PV.”

 

Asian Power: Is energy storage

Asian Power:  energy storage a fix for renewables

Where storage technologies excel is in addressing the needs based on how long power needs to be stored. Gardner said ‘flywheels’ are excellent at storing power and delivering a big amount of power in a short amount of time. ‘Flow batteries’ are more suitable for applications that require power over extended periods, while ‘thermal storage’ can address even longer timescales.

Thermal storage, in particular, is a very economical solution for situations when the end use is also heat, said Gardner, and will be attractive to power grids that want to a good reason to build expensive storage facilities. At least until costs come down in the future, as the electrical vehicle market starts to find more efficient ways to produce energy batteries.

“I was in a battery manufacturing plant and it’s really very impressive how automated the manufacturing is,” said Gardner. “About 90% of the batteries that are being manufactured now for long term energy storage are being manufactured for electric vehicles.”

“So it is actually the electric vehicle market that is driving these manufacturing improvements, and those will drive the cost reductions” in energy storage, he added.

But aside from the cost hurdles, regulations are also slowing down adoption of storage technologies and, in effect, hinder the renewables integration. Gardner pointed out that in some countries, there have been “significant” delays in the ability to implement storage because of a lack of a common definition of what storage actually is.

What is storage?

“That sounds silly but, actually, it’s important because, in some countries, they operate through systems of licensees. So there are generator licensees, and network operator licensees, and there are energy supply licensees,” he said.

“In those licensed environments, it is not clear exactly where storage fits. If it can be considered as a generator, then that has different implications than if it is considered as something that a network operator can do. And that is important for storage because the inherent technology provides benefits both to generators and to network operators,” he added.

Factoring in the current high costs and regulatory roadblocks that energy storage still has to overcome, Gardner decided that the issue of renewables integration will likely be best addressed by other solutions. The limitations of storage in this regard is put on display when one considers creating larger-scale energy systems supplied completely by wind and PV in northern latitudes where there is greater seasonality in both renewable resources and energy demand.

“ If you wanted to have a 100% renewable system to supply that, you would end up building capacity that you would only use once in a blue moon – once every ten years in a really unfortunate set of circumstances. Now, you could do it, but it is a bit silly to build something very expensive that you are only going to use one in a decade,” said Gardner.

“There are other solutions and those solutions, typically, are greater electrical interconnection across countries and between countries, and even between continents eventually,” he added, citing efforts by manufacturers to make gas turbines more flexible, and developments in the area of demand site management. “All these options are competing with storage for providing the necessary services to run grids with high penetration available in renewables.”

Click here to read the original Asian Power article and here to get a quote from Eyekandi-Solar.