Tag: reuters

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

01
Dec

Thailand over achieving their Solar Goals, 2017

Thailand has so far been the leader in developing solar power in Southeast Asia, with one of the government officials saying its installed capacity reached about 2 GW in August, beating the target of 1.7 GW for this year.

“We have already exceeded our target for this year, especially in solar and waste power, given attractive FIT (feed in tariff) rates,” Viraphol Jirapraditkul, director of the Energy Regulatory Commission told Reuters.

“We have discussed about the possibility of raising the target for renewables and the energy ministry’s planning office will need to propose the numbers.”

Malaysia has planned to add 1 GW of solar power capacity by the year 2020 said Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Maximus Ongkili, up from 267 MW currently.

The Philippines has met a previous target of 500 MW for solar, but no fresh target has been set as the country’s new government is still reviewing the various energy sources.

Some analysts cautioned that Indonesia and Vietnam’s solar targets were ambitious and could be difficult to achieve.

Despite the growth of solar power in the region, coal is likely to remain a major source of energy as fast-growing demand means that Southeast Asia needs to double its power generation capacity in the next decade, government and industry officials said.

Read the full Reuters article here, where it explains the growing solar industry in Indonesia and Vietnam.

An employee of PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN) cleans the surface of solar panels at a solar power generation plant in Gili Meno island  photo taken by Antara Foto

An employee of PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN) cleans the surface of solar panels at a solar power generation plant in Gili Meno island
photo taken by Antara Foto

08
Sep

Thai renewables company BCPG looks homeward for $1 billion spending budget

BCPG logo

Bangchak Corporation Public Company $1 billion renewable energy investment

BCPG, the renewable energy off-spring of Thailand’s Bangchak Corporation plans to invest $1 billion throughout the next 5 years with 40 percent of that planned for domestic power projects after many years of spending money overseas.

In order to achieve its target of owning 1,000 megawatts (MW) of renewable generation capacity by 2020, BCPG will have to posses an additional 400 MW of capacity.

Thai renewables company BCPG looks homeward for $1 billion spending budget

Thai renewables company BCPG looks homeward for $1 billion spending budget

BCPG is planning to build 150 MW of the new 400 MW capacity in Thailand, focusing on biomass and rooftop solar power investments. The remaining capacity would probably be an investment in wind power projects around Thailand.

BCPG plans to use the rooftop solar projects as a way to bring the micro-grid concept to Thailand. The photovoltaic panels on residential and industrial properties will produce renewable electricity that will then be sold back to nearby consumers connected to the local grid.

Learn more from the following interview, “Thai renewables company BCPG looks homeward for $1 billion spending budget”.