Tag: renewables

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.

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.

14
Dec

Wind, Solar and Renewable projects on the Climb in Thailand

A recent report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the Thai ministry of energy found that renewable energy could account for 37% of the country’s electricity by 2036.

Currently, around 18% of Thailand’s power is generated from renewable sources. The bulk is generated from fossil fuel products, with natural gas, condensate and crude oil, and coal accounting for 67% of total energy production.

wind-turbines thailand business news

2017 has been a positive year for renewable energy throughout the Asia Pacific, with the price and cost of power declining throughout the region.  This is due to the decline in tariffs and the price of generating equipment.

By the year 2040, there will be US$10.2 trillion invested in new power generation capacity worldwide, of which US$4.8 trillion will be in Asia.  In Asia, one-third of this investment will be in wind power, one-third in solar, with 18% going to nuclear and 10% to coal and gas.

This is incredible feedback. Eyekandi-Solar has now jumped on board in order to supply the best solar installation service to the Thai region.