Tag: solar power

19
Jun

Thai Solar Pioneer, Inspiring Women Across Thailand

Inspiring story about a local Thai business woman and entrepreneur

Well known local Thai business woman and entrepreneur, Wandee Khunchornyakong Juljarern, has been interested in the solar industry for more than a decade. With experience in off grid installations, she continued to get rejected from banks and investors to fund her Solar Farm initiative. The excuses ranged from her age, to lack of experience in ‘commercial solar projects’.

“The more people say, ‘You should not try it, you should not take a risk,’ the more I want to do it,” Wandee said in an interview. Her goal was to prove Thailand could use solar energy, so that “we can change the form of energy production, instead of relying on only conventional means”.

Finally the Thai government announced permits for solar power plants that could feed into the grid,  and Wandee Khunchornyakong Juljarern was the first in line.

Kasikornbank, the 10th Bank she visited for assistance, whose president was also an engineer, showed interest in her initiative, and agreed to fund only 60% of her $20 million request. For the remaining 40%, she sold some of her family land she had inherited…

“My mum said, ‘Do what pleases you.’ My husband said, ‘Let me think for three days’,” she recalled. Her response was that she would sell it anyway, she said, roaring with laughter.

Wandee Khunchornyakong Juljarern’s first solar farm opened in April 2010 in Korat, in the northeast of Thailand.

4 years later, Wandee’s Solar Power Company Group (SPCG) had 36 solar PV plants with a capacity of 250 megawatts.

SPCG is now one of Thailand’s largest solar companies. Between 2013 and 2016, its revenues more than doubled.

As chairman and CEO of the listed company, Wandee has been recognized by the United Nations for her commitment to clean energy, and in 2015 Forbes dubbed her one of Asia’s most powerful women.

“We are helping the world by reducing CO2 (emissions) by almost 200,000 tonnes equivalent per year,” said Wandee. This amounts to taking more than 40,000 cars off the road, according to statistics provided by the World Bank.

Solar Farms and Solar rooftops, Thailand Image supplied by SPCG Thailand

Solar Farms and Solar rooftops, Thailand
Image supplied by SPCG Thailand

Moving the Solar streak forward

Wandee is planning to venture into Myanmar, where millions of people lack access to electricity, but realises the difficulty of implementation in a nation without national policy on renewable energy.

Talking of the Success in Thailand…

“I would call Korat almost every hour asking, ‘What’s happening? You have enough sun? How many kilowatt hours?’” she said, chuckling in the modern building now housing the company in a fashionable part of Bangkok, with soothing green walls and images of a lush forest on the glass doors and walls.

Luckily, the project outperformed expectations and within three months, she was looking for more investors.

The International Finance Corporation, the World Bank’s private-sector division, and the multilateral Clean Technology Fund gave early financial backing.

Wandee, who humbly still lives in her old house, wants to continue working and pursuing her Solar dreams, despite her age.

“Women… have to have confidence in (themselves),” she said.

Original reporting by Thin Lei Win, and editing by Megan Rowling. Credit for the content of this article goes to the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women’s rights, corruption and climate change. Visit this link for more.

15
Jun

Thailand Energy Authority give Private Solar Power Buying ‘thumbs up’

After a 4 year postponement, Thai energy policymakers have finally given the ‘go-ahead’ to start buying solar power produced by private buildings and households.

The surplus solar power generated by private buildings and households (that are accepted by the programme) will be able to be sold to the state, and be fed back into the grid.

Energy Minister Siri Jirapongphan said the Department of Alternative Energy Development and Efficiency is carrying out studies to outline the investment conditions, which are expected to be concluded this year. He said there is no solid time frame yet because details such as business model, investment budget, power tariff, net metering system, supporting region and capacity from each building are still under development.

A village in Than To district of Yala, next to the Malaysian border, is one of several small pockets of private homes partially powered by solar energy, but the government now pledges a nationwide plan to encourage this form of alternative energy. (Photo by Patipat Janthong) Bangkok Post

A village in Than To district of Yala, next to the Malaysian border, is one of several small pockets of private homes partially powered by solar energy, but the government now pledges a nationwide plan to encourage this form of alternative energy. (Photo by Patipat Janthong) Bangkok Post

The power tariff to sell back to the state will be around 2.44 baht per kilowatt-hour (kw/h).

The cost to develop rooftop solar PV panels has seen to be on the decline.
This programme will allow for private buildings and households to sell their power either under a business-to-business model or to sell surplus electricity wholesale to the state. “We are working to support households to participate in the power generation from their own rooftops and to receive revenue from selling the surplus electricity,” Mr Siri said.

This programme is aimed at achieving policymakers’ goal to have all types of renewable energy make up 30% of the country’s total power generation by 2036 from 10% at present.

The policymakers expect to see a decline in heavy dependence on fossil-based power in the long run. Fossil fuels make up 85% of national power.

Mr Siri said the programme may be accelerated to increase the proportion of renewable energy and meet the target sooner than projected.  The rooftop programme was launched for the first time in 2013 with a total quota of 200MW. Bangkok, Nonthaburi and Samut Prakan were allocated 80MW of the total, equally distributed between private buildings and households. At the time, the power tariff was set at 6.10-6.96 baht per kilowatt-hour, higher than for the upcoming programme.

Solar rooftop owners will operate as independent power suppliers (IPSs). The Energy Regulatory Commission reported that registered IPSs in Thailand have a combined capacity of 2,600MW and more new IPSs are being launched each month with an average capacity of 4-5MW.
IPS capacity will account for 6.5% of the total power production system in Thailand.

Click here to view the original post written by YUTHANA PRAIWAN – Bangkok Post

30
Apr

TSE and the future of Renewable Power Plants

Are Renewable Energy Plants still viable in todays age?

Thai Solar Energy Plc (TSE), believes that “the potential for renewable power plants in Thailand has become unfavourable after energy policymakers have put off plans to buy power generated from renewables for five years.”

Policymakers have further announced that new renewable power producers will equate the feed-in tariff as fossil-fuel power producers, at about 2.40 baht per kilowatt-hour, as their production cost is equal to or lower than their traditional counterparts.

Cathleen Maleenont, TSE’s chairman and chief executive has said that, “The country has no potential to operate a renewable power plant and sell electricity to state utilities because profits will decline under the new rate.”

Some renewable investors operate under a power purchase agreement with the EGAT and Metropolitan Electricity Authority under a business-to-government (B2G) model.  But Ms Maleenont said that “Selling power in the business-to-business (B2B) segment remains of interest to renewable investors because both parties can negotiate on prices and terms.”

“We can invest in renewable power plants in the country for B2B purposes, but there is less business opportunity in the B2G segment,” she said. “For our overseas outlook, TSE is very keen on operating renewable power plants because other governments still offer a high adder rate.”

A TSE-built solar rooftop project in Nakhon Ratchasima. The company is looking to expand its business to provide renewable energy to other countries.  Image supplied by the Bangkok Post

A TSE-built solar rooftop project in Nakhon Ratchasima. The company is looking to expand its business to provide renewable energy to other countries.
Image supplied by the Bangkok Post

TSE Solar plants in Japan

Ms Maleenont said that TSE Overseas Group is in charge of 8 solar power plants across Japan with a total capacity of 176.72 megawatts.

5 of these solar power plants, with a combined capacity of 6.99MW, have already secured income with a feed-in tariff of ¥36 yen (10.41 baht) per kilowatt-hour to sell electricity to Japan’s state utilities on a 20-year long contract.

What do you think about this, and the fact that TSE have said that there has been a decline in renewables? Do we want to set good examples of using renewable and green energy, or do we still want to be consuming and using fossil fuels?

We believe in the future of renewable and solar energy power generation.

Lets us know at Eyekandi-Solar, we’re interested in what you think!

08
Jan

Philippines’ Solar usage ranked 1st in the developing world

This year, the Philippines has been ranked at number No. 1 among the developing countries in Asia in terms of the use of solar PV systems for electricity generation, according to a Dutch consultancy firm.

“The Philippines is still relatively young when it comes to solar development, but was able to get seven active projects ranked in the top 50 list,” Solarplaza research analyst Marco Dorothal said in a report.

PV solar array in the Philippines

PV solar array in the Philippines

He also added that the biggest operational project in the Philippines was currently the 132.5-megawatt Cadiz solar power plant developed by Helios Solar Energy Corp., which was a joint venture between the Thailand-based Soleq Solar Co. and Gregorio Araneta Inc.

Solarplaza also noted that last year in March, the local firm Solar Philippines started erecting a 150-MW solar plant in Tarlac, making it the largest solar power project so far for the country.

Solar Philippines has also opened the country’s first PV module factory!

As of June last year, Solarplaza announced that the Philippines’ solar power installed capacity had reached 900 MW.

Even though the Philippines is going through some policy changes, the government is still supporting solar and the renewable energy sector.

“According to the International Energy Agency, solar power is turning into the cheapest source of new electricity generation capacity in many countries, especially in Asia,” the article provided.

“Solar is forging ahead in global power markets as it becomes the cheapest source of electricity generation in many places, including China and India,” IEA executive director Fatih Birol stated.

The IEA expects that over the next 25 years, the world’s growing energy needs are met first by renewables and natural gas as fast-declining costs turn solar power into the cheapest source of new electricity generation.

Eyekandi-Solar is on the same band-wagon, and assisting Thailand in advancing their solar PV production and renewable energy generation.

Visit our website for more information and a quote.

11
Dec

Enerray to build one of the biggest roof-top PV systems in Thailand

Enerray is a solar power company, leader in the design, construction and management of medium and large photovoltaic systems, both for third-party systems and proprietary systems.

Enerray UAC Thailand

Surat Thani roof top array by Enerray UAC Thailand

Surat Thani roof top array by Enerray UAC Thailand

Enerray-UAC Thailand (UAC.SET) will be building one of the largest roof-top photovoltaic systems in Thailand, with a total capacity of 2.5 MWp, enough to meet the annual energy needs of 1,400 Thai households and avoiding the emission of around 1,800 tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere, providing an estimated annual output of 3,500,000 kWh of clean energy.

Enerray UAC Thailand has already built and connected different roof-top photovoltaic systems, therefore contributing to the development and expansion of renewable energy in the country.

Enerray UAC was established last year as a joint venture between Enerray S.p.A.,the Italian company,  a subsidiary of the Maccaferri Industrial Group, and UAC Global Public Company Limited, a Thai listed company. The purpose of this subsidiary is to apply the outstanding technologies services and procedures to the Asian market.

Read further to find out about the expanding Solar industry in Thailand by Enerray and how Eyekandi-Solar is assisting in the process.

06
Dec

Thailand’s Enserv, KEPID join hands in 1 GW of PV, storage

Enserv Group Co, a Thai renewable energy provider and Korea Electric Power Industrial Development Co (KEPID) intend to install over 1 GW of solar and energy storage facilities in Thailand in a THB-40-billion project.

enserv group solar installation

Photo courtesy of Enserv Group

The Bangkok Post has reported that these two companies have signed a memorandum of understanding, quoting Enserv’s CEO Thanachat Pochana. He said that the goal of the project is to install renewable energy and storage capacity that will make Thailand’s power grid more sustainable.

Enserv, which is prominent in the solar power sector, has more than 258 MW of photovoltaic parks in Thailand, which operate under power purchase agreements (PPAs) with the Thai Provincial Electricity Authority. The company is also engaged in research and development in the energy storage segment, biofuel production and energy trading innovation.

KEPID focuses on reading and recording electricity meters, and delivering electricity bills in South Korea. The company also operates and maintains coal fueled power plants, operates flue gas desulfurization systems and recycles fly ash, purchases and compensates plant sites, and constructs, runs, and leases multi-purpose buildings.

Read more about the Thai renewable energy  plan and other interesting facts about Solar Power in Thailand on our website.

 

 

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

20
Sep

Solar Future is still BRIGHT

Although the government has not yet sent a clear signal for when it will start buying solar power generated from private buildings and households, the boom in solar rooftops in that segment has started, say industry officials.

Solar panels are seen on the rooftops of Thammasat University, among the organisations that have installed the solar system to generate their own power.

Solar panels are seen on the rooftops of Thammasat University, among the organisations that have installed the solar system to generate their own power.

With the cost of installing solar on rooftops having dropped by 50%, there has been a steady increase in the amount of businesses, households and institutions wanting to generate their own power. This is despite the fact the the government still does not allow you to sell your self-generated power back to the grid.

Two SET-listed energy firms are offering new purchasing models to help residents afford their own solar rooftops, allowing several payment types including hire-purchase, similar to auto leasing companies.

Solar power generation in Thailand has reached 2,990 megawatts, of which 2,860MW is from solar farms and 130MW from solar rooftop installations at households and businesses.

Energy policymakers are expected to finalise the process to deregulate solar rooftops and allow residents to sell power back to state utilities by the end of this year.

PTT Plc, the national oil and gas conglomerate, is also looking to get in on the action, as it has installed solar rooftops at 10 petrol stations via a joint effort with its power and utilities subsidiary Global Power Synergy Plc.

It is awesome to hear that oil and gas companies are also doing their part for the benefit of the environment.

 

28
Jul

Will Thailand deregulate and fully utilize the sun’s power ?

Will Thailand deregulate and fully utilize the sun's power

Will Thailand deregulate and fully utilize the sun’s power


Experts in the energy sector have called for the ‘deregulation of the solar rooftop industry’, which is currently under strict government control.

The Thai Photovoltaic Industries Association is encouraging the public to produce their own solar power, as it is the cheaper option.

Veeraphol Jirapraditkul, commissioner and spokesman of the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) said ‘the number of solar rooftop owners registered with the ERC remain small with a combined power generating…’

Sean Abbott of Eyekandi Solar, “It does seem hopeful at the moment, that Thailand is pushing to give home owners more incentive to have solar on their rooftops. Though its only speculation at this stage, we may see a ‘Feed In Tariff’ for solar rooftops. This would mean a home owner with solar could potentially get paid for their over production of electricity produced from their solar system. If this happens you can be sure that the amount of people installing solar will rise very high. This could be very good for the country’s energy problems, and their carbon foot print. It could also stimulate business, create jobs as well as help the economy. There of course could be some negative outcomes in the future if the government begins to tax solar owners, as we are now witnessing in the USA. The government will also need to redesign the ‘Tie In’ application process and make it easier for both home owners and solar installation companies to apply. We can for sure see a strong push in the solar rooftop sector but until the bureaucratic weights are lifted, we have a long way to go. ”

Read the below article, Experts urge fewer curbs on solar power’ to understand the motif behind the Thai government to encourage the public to start producing their own power.

Click here to view the Previous article of Eyekandi-Solar – ‘Power bill is going up – time to invest in solar’