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Renewable energy in Thailand

Thailand has committed to increasing its use of renewable energy.

Business that use Green technology have a business advantage over their competitors.

Advantages include being less reliant on the grid, cost savings, Business Image and Many more.

Egat to ‘soon’ propose floating solar plants to Cabinet 

Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat) will soon propose to the Cabinet its Bt2-billion pilot project for a 45-megawatt hydro-floating solar hybrid plant at Sirindhorn Dam in Ubon Ratchathani province.

Thepparat Theppitak, Egat deputy governor for power-plant development and renewable energy, said if approved, Egat will call bids for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) of the project within 1-2 months for commencement of commercial operation in 2020.
The project, a part of Thailand's new power development plan (PDP) 2018-2037, will launch international bids due to the small number of floating solar producers, requirements for advanced technology and a constraint on the electricity cost at no higher than Bt2.44 per unit.

Once completed, the Sirindhorn hydro-floating solar hybrid project will be the world's largest.

Egat has the capacity to invest in hydro-floating solar hybrid farms with 2,725 megawatts as stated in the new PDP, thanks to its being well prepared in both people and infrastructure, Thepparat said.

Its hydro-floating solar hybrid investment plan calls for 16 projects with 2,725 megawatts combined in nine dams – Sirindhorn Dam, Ubonrat Dam, Bhumibol Dam, Srinagarind Dam, Vajiralongkorn Dam, Chulabhorn Dam, Bang Lang Dam, Rajjaprabha Dam and Sirikit Dam.

Power from these projects will be gradually fed into the system from 2020 to 2037, starting with Sirindhorn Dam and the next investment is expected to then come on-line.

"In the new PDP renewable energy plan, Egat has the rights to proceed with only floating solar projects in dams. Once combined with new power plants in the PDP, Egat's share in [the country's] power production will lower to 24 per cent in 2037. Currently, its share is 34 per cent, which is regarded as small for supervision in the power system's security," Thepparat said.

He said that Egat has also prepared for the main power system to deal with more power to be produced by renewable energy, with private-sector solar farm projects, power trade through blockchain and eventually, peer-to-peer.
Egat is also developing the Egat Micro-Energy Management System (Egat Micro-EMS), software for microgrid management.

"Next, a number of microgrids will arise and every microgrid will be advertised to be self-dependent. If every system thinks like this and spring outs of the main [power] system at the time of a power problem, the main system will not be able to run. Therefore, Egat Micro-EMS will help monitor the overall power picture and maintain the main system's security," Thepparat said.

The study, under the Bt50-Bt60-million research and development budget, is expected to finish within 1-2 months after last year's test with two buildings at the Egat head office at Bang Kruai of Nonthaburi province.
If efficient, Egat will drive for the public sector to extend the study result to National Energy Trading Platform (NETP), in which Egat, Provincial Electricity Authority and Metropolitan Electricity Authority have joined to develop the platform. 

This post has been published by: solarenergy.einnews

 

 

 

Powering up SOLAR ENERGY ambitions

Project at Chiang Mai UNIVERSITY WILL SHOWCASE BENEFITS OF RENEWABLE ENERGY

BCPG and Power Ledger will collaborate with Chiang Mai University to launch a private energy solar rooftop power plant in the second half of this year. 

The project represents an advance in using digital technologies to lessen the university's energy footprint, while pointing to the potential for profit-making during the transition to renewable energy in response to the Paris accord on climate change.

There is great potential for renewable energy generation in the residential, industrial and university sectors, while also advancing the nation's digital future, says Bundit Sapianchai, BCPG president and chief executive officer. BCPG has been at work with Power Ledger since August 2018 to provide the private grid at the university. 

BCPG and Power Ledger are partnering with Chiang Mai University to build a 12-megawatt private rooftop power plant and associated grid to feed university buildings. It will include blockchain technology, peer-to-peer energy trading, and energy as a service. The partners are also talking with PEA. The whole system will be completed in the next six to eight months. 

"It is a private energy grid feeding over 100 buildings inside Chiang Mai University, and in the next stage it is expected to export energy to the commercial businesses around the university in Chiang Mai Town," said Bundit. 

In addition to residential and university projects, Bundit said the industrial sector also offers much potential for solar projects. The company is in discussions with potential partners, and though details cannot yet be disclosed, an announcement is likely in the second half of this year.

Power Ledger partnered with BCPG for two reasons, says Jemma Green, chairwoman and co-founder of Power Ledger, a technology company that uses blockchain and AI to enable the transition to low cost, low carbon and resilient distributed energy markets. 

There was the opportunity to take on its first collaboration project and develop a partnership perspective as it worked on the T77 peer-to-peer energy trading project in Bangkok, which was co-developed by BCPG, Sansiri and Power Ledger. 

"We are doing similar things in other markets – for example in the US. We have technology and we can partner with organisations to understand the local market from an energy perspective. This is the strategy to scale the commercialisation of our technologies," said Green.

In addition to Thailand, BCPG is active in Japan, Indonesia, Vietnam and Laos as it provides coverage to those markets. The current project is not really focused on Thailand and offers a big opportunity to partner across the Asia market, she says. 

The Power Ledger technology can aid in three related areas – energy trading, energy assets and the carbon market. In term of energy trading, it has signature products in two categories – trading across the grid and trading behind the meter. The T77 project involves trading across the grid while the project in Chiang Mai is behind-the-meter energy trading. 

The concept of the virtual power plant concept is very exciting, says Green. Traditionally, solar-based energy trading takes place during the hours of sunshine, but by using battery storage a virtual power plant can trade 24 hours a day. And it can go beyond energy or electricity to also sell accessory services such as frequency or capacity.

Also, there is energy asset financing, or "asset germination", a product the company will launch this year. It uses blockchain to fragmentise the energy asset and create liquidity around this asset. This would allow people to invest in commercial-scale energy assets. It is peer-to-peer energy asset trading. 

"We are 'tokening' the asset that can be traded and exchanged. An asset does not need to be under the listed companies, it can be under unlisted companies," said Green. 

The token will be a security token, a financial product, she said. It is a utility token. It is tokenising the real assets. 

The final stage of procuring assets for launching this product is implementing a commercial-scale solar system and the energy-connected battery.

According to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), investments in renewable energy needs to be up-scaled to six times the current level if the world community is to reach its climate goal of limiting the global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees.

Need to speed up solar inroads

Thailand so is generating only 3,000 megawatts of solar energy, but it is growing at the relatively fast rate of 500 megawatts per year. The asset germination product aims to help speed up and make easier the required investment in solar.

Bundit said yearly 500 megawatt boost to roof-top energy production offers a significant opportunity across business areas included generation, the grid as a service and the data business. 

"BCPG sees a lot of opportunities and a new business model in the new areas of the energy economy," Bundit said. "Right now we offer peer-to-peer energy trading, but we will next look at the carbon market and asset germination, as well as demand response, energy as a service and so on. We are creating the future."

Green said the final area in the carbon market is around issuing carbon credits, which would facilitate exchange-based trading in the carbon market.

It's a big market, with significant opportunity for scale, she said, as Thailand and the world moves into transitioning to a low-cost and low-carbon economy.

This post has been published by: solarenergy.einnews

THE NATIONAL Energy Policy Council (NERC) has given the green light to the new Power Development Plan (PDP), which will boost power production capacity to more than 77,000 megawatts in 2037.

 



Energy Minister Siri Jirapongphan said that the NERC agreed on the new PDP - covering 2018 to 2037 – at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha yesterday. The Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat) was tasked with planning for Thailand's power transmission system development for higher power security, grid modernisation and for a regional grid connection centre covering five countries – Thailand, Laos, Myanmar, Malaysia and Cambodia.

The Egat will also team up with the Provincial Electricity Authority to develop a smart grid in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) to facilitate the needs of investors and enable power discounts.

“In the new PDP, although Egat's power production will be lower, it will take more responsibility for the system security from the grid connection. It will not only receive fees from transmission lines but play a role in joining in with investments. Egat is expected to finish its planning late this year,” Siri said.

The NERC also agreed on a 1,400 MW power plant project in Surat Thani and a 1,400 MW plant in the West, of which a part will replace Ratchaburi Power Generating Holding's 700 MW Tri Energy power plant. The company’s contract will end in July 2020.

The Committee on Energy Policy and the Energy Regulatory Committee will also consider a solar power plant project for community needs, with capacity of 100 megawatts per year for 10 years from 2019. The project is expected to begin in the middle of this year.

This project's power generation is not only aimed at people's homes but also for rural schools and subdistrict hospitals.

In the new PDP, the country's power production capacity will rise from 46,090 MW in 2017 to 77,211 MW in 2037. New capacity is expected at 56,431 MW from 2019 to 2037.

Of the total estimated new capacity, 20,766 MW will come from renewable power plants, 13,156 MW from combined cycle power plants, 2,112 MW from cogeneration power plants, 1,740 MW from lignite or coal-fired power plants and 500 MW from pumped storage hydropower plants. About 8,300 MW will be from new or replacement power plants, 5,857 MW from imports and 4,000 MW under the energy conservation plan.

In this new PDP, the NERC also approved an increase in power production capacity from waste by 400 MW. Combined with the 500 MW capacity in the earlier plan, the new power production capacity from waste will be 900 MW. Biomass power production capacity will rise to 120 MW.

In 2037, 53 per cent of the country's power production will be generated by natural gas, 35 per cent from non-fossil fuels and 12 per cent from coal. The retail power price throughout the PDP will be Bt3.50-Bt3.63 per unit, or about Bt3.58 per unit on average. The plan will be reviewed every five years or upon significant changes in factors.

Preeyanart Soontornwata, chief executive officer of B Grimm Power Plc and chairperson of the Association of Private Power Producers, said that the extension of cogeneration SPPs’ contracts after a two-year delay will boost the confidence of investors.

This post has been published by: solarenergy.einnews

 

 

 

Alpha-ESS to become second battery manufacture to set up shop in Adelaide
By Sophie Vorrath on November 14, 2018

AplhaESSsmile

 

South Australia looks to have notched up another major battery storage coup, with the news that another global giant of the booming industry, Alpha-ESS, will set up a manufacturing facility in Adelaide.

State energy minister Dan van Holst Pelekaan said on Wednesday that Alpha-ESS, which has offices in China, Germany and Australia, had signed an agreement with the South Australian government to make more than 8,000 of their SMILE 5 home batteries in Adelaide a year.

The agreement gives Alpha-ESS – which has installed more than 10,000 of its home battery systems in more than 30 countries around the world since 2012 – access to the priority period for the state government’s Home Battery Scheme, which lasts until the end of the year.

And it gives South Australian consumers taking part in the subsidy scheme a broader range of batteries to choose from – the Alpha-ESS SMILE, released in Australia last year, is as a modular and “cost competitive” lithium-ion battery, starting at around 5kWh.

It also makes Alpha-ESS the second major battery company to set up shop in Adelaide, following the confirmation of sonnen’s plans to re-purpose the former Holden car factory in Elizabeth.

The sonnen plant, first proposed under the state’s former Labor government, was also locked in under the Liberal government’s $100 million Home Battery Scheme – a subsidy of up to $6,000 per household backed $100 million in finance from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.

The Sonnen factory aims to produce 10,000 batteries a year to meet soaring demand from Australian households, as well as for export to the neighbouring Asia Pacific region. Production is slated to kick off this month.

“Following the establishment of the state government’s $200 million home battery grant and loan scheme, two companies have moved to set up manufacturing operations in our state,” said van Holst Pellekaan in comments on Wednesday.

“This is great news for South Australians who want to install a home battery to store their renewable energy and will help drive down costs for all consumers.

“It’s also great news for South Australian job seekers who will benefit from the creation of hundreds of jobs.”

For Alpha-ESS – which in 2016, partnered with the Queensland government to provide solar battery storage solutions and services – the deal gives the company a major foothold in a market it describes as world-leading.

“South Australia is leading the world with its home battery program,” said Alpha-ESS managing director Dr Dong Lin in comments on Wednesday.

“Although we have been in Australia since early 2015, and have installed thousands of units rights across the country, we knew we needed to have a manufacturing base in SA,” he said.

“We are committed to providing SA with batteries that slash power bills, help the environment, and do good for the community.”

Dr Lin said the initial manufacturing partnership with leading disability service provider Minda was also “a perfect fit” with the company’s commitment to positive social and environmental outcomes.

“Minda Disability Services will also handle recycling of packaging as well as electronics and batteries at end of life and we will use existing warehousing, logistics and dispatch services,” he said.

This post has been published by: onestepoffthegrid.com.au

Bangkok--27 Sep--EXIM BANK

Mrs. Warangkana Wongkhaluang, Senior Executive Vice President of Export-Import Bank of Thailand (EXIM Thailand), and Mr. Khemmarat Sartpreecha, Acting Managing Director of PEA ENCOM International Co., Ltd. (PEA ENCOM), a wholly owned subsidiary of the Provincial Electricity Authority (PEA), signed a financial facility agreement at EXIM Thailand's Head Office on September 26, 2018 to provide a credit facility worth 1,150 million baht to finance the state enterprise's investment in installation of 40 MW solar rooftop systems for industrial plants nationwide.

This financial support to PEA ENCOM aims to promote electricity generation from solar panels, which is a clean, sustainable and environmentally friendly renewable energy source with high potential. It will not only contribute to the country's energy conservation and environmental protection, but also reduce consumption of fossil fuel-based electricity and save entrepreneurs' production costs, which is in line with EXIM Thailand's mission and the government policy of national development on a sustainable basis.

For further information, please contact Corporate Communication Division, Secretary and Corporate Communication Department
Tel. 0 2271 3700, 0 2278 0047, 0 2617 2111 ext. 1141, 1144
This post has been published by: solarenergy.einnews
 

Thailand's energy reform plan is ready for implementation, with an emphasis on deregulating the electricity sector and enhancing competitiveness among private operators.

The new version aims for open and free private participation in the energy sector and deregulation of all aspects over the next two decades, as the country's policymakers tackle the unavoidable impact of disruptive technology. 

Thailand did an initial reform in the 1990s by deregulating oil and electricity, including a privatisation programme for the state's energy enterprises.

The second reform was to beef up penetration of renewable energy in the 2010s. 

The new version is the third stage, which was under draft from 2015 until the end of last year by the National Reform Steering Assembly.

The energy reform plan has been crafted alongside those of other sectors, including environment, human resources, national competitiveness, administration of state agency, national defence and social equality.

The energy sector is part of the national competitiveness plan.

Nantika Thangsuphanich, deputy permanent secretary of energy, said the plan is crucially needed because several activities in the sector have suffered from delays in petroleum exploration and production activities and the development of new power plants.

"These problems risk the national security of energy supply, the domestic economy and quality of life," Ms Nantika said. "The ministry initiated the plan recently by setting up a main committee and six subcommittees to carry out the reform plan."

Pornchai Rujiprapa, chairman of the National Energy Reform Committee, said the pilot for the new reform version will start during the remainder of this year, including one-stop service to grant licences for gas operators and power plants.

Many dozens of licence types are granted by several state agencies.

"The plan will encourage third parties to access a liquefied natural gas (LNG) business, shifting from two operators: PTT Plc, the national oil and gas conglomerate, and the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand [Egat]," Mr Pornchai said.

Furthermore, the prosumer concept, also known as peer-to-peer power trading, will be deregulated in a bid to support electricity generation by communities and private power purchase agreements.

Under the plan, a new building energy code will be enforced so that every large building must comply with energy saving and higher efficient energy consumption practices to receive licences.

The policymakers plan to shift from cooking gas in the transport sector to compressed natural gas for widespread consumption.

"The energy sector represents 20% of the country's economic value," Mr Pornchai said. "If any aspects are suffering, we carry out reforms in order to maintain economic drive."

Lertrat Ratanavanich, deputy chairman of the National Energy Reform Committee, said the reform plan in the long run consists of the fourth phase of massive petrochemical investment in the Eastern Economic Corridor scheme, renewable energy promotion, electrical vehicles and encouragement of energy storage systems.

"For renewables, solar rooftops and waste-to-energy power plants are set for further deregulation under the reform plan," Gen Lertrat said. "Moreover, integration of state power utilities into a single structure that will subsume Egat, the Metropolitan Electricity Authority and the Provincial Electricity Authority is being planned."

Gen Lertrat said many megaprojects have been scrapped or delayed because of continued protests from non-governmental groups and local communities, including biomass and waste-to-energy projects.

Manoon Siriwan, an energy expert, said energy literacy campaigns should be carried out to educate people and companies on the importance of energy security and renewable power.

This post has been published by: Bangkok Post


Energy policymakers gave the green light to start buying solar power generated from private buildings and households once again after postponing the programme for more than four years.
 
Private buildings and households that are accepted by the programme will sell surplus solar power to the state's utilities.
 
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.
 
The tightened condition is the power tariff to sell back should be up to 2.44 baht per kilowatt-hour.
Mr Siri said policymakers are confident that the cost to develop rooftop solar photovoltaic panels has declined.
 
The programme will allow for households to sell 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 policymaker expects 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.
Biomass and biogas are becoming mainstream energy sources, with combined capacity of more than 3,000 megawatts.
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.
Since then, the programme has faced political conflicts and has not been promoted, leaving huge solar power projects of 2,000MW pending during 2014-16.
Somruedee Chaimongkol, director of Banpu Infinergy Co, a solar energy provider, said the company welcomes the programme and is ready to comply once the investment conditions have been made clearer.
She said the company is confident the current power tariff is competitive and fair, relative to its business partnerships with smart energy service providers.

The company provides a combined capacity of 12MW and has another 100MW in its backlog.
Banpu Infinergy is also set to achieve 300MW of capacity from solar energy to serve future demand in accordance with the Energy Ministry's Alternative Energy Development Plan

Solar rooftop owners operate as independent power suppliers (IPSs). The Energy Regulatory Commission reported that registered IPSs 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 accounts for 6.5% of the total power generation system.
 
This post has been published by: Bangkok Post
 
 
Energy policymakers announced new renewable power generators will have the same feed-in tariff as fossil-fuel power generators, 2.40 baht per kilowatt-hour, because their production cost is equal to or lower than their traditional peers. The new rate is effective for new power plants immediately.
 
Energy Minister Siri Jirapongphan said this move is aimed at making public power bills more affordable as the new rate is significantly below the adder rate (the rate state utilities pay operators) renewable power generators pay of 5-8 baht.
 
Mr Siri said the price renewable energy generators sell to state utilities should be equal or less than the price from the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand.
Last month, policymakers decided to quit granting licences to investors using renewable resources for the next five years. The policy had caused some investors, particularly listed companies on the stock market, to diversify into renewable energy generation.
 
"A new condition will be added that not only will the feed-in tariff be lowered but also firms' power purchase agreements must be the corporate type or a stable resource of feed stock is available to operate the power plants," he said.
Policymakers expect the subsidy scheme for renewables will be suspended until 2022.
 
Mr Siri said this new policy would not affect some investors because some resources still have lower production cost, such as biomass and solar power, and can compete with fossil-fuel generated power.
The National Energy Policy Council (NEPC) updated the country's renewable power portfolio as of February, with total power for both operation and development totalling 9,855 megawatts, or 64.5% of policymakers' long-term goal of 16,780MW by 2036.
The NEPC said there are only 6,350MW left over that the policymakers can promote for new investment in the remaining years.
 
Categorised by type of renewable feed stock, biomass power plants control the largest capacity at 4,045MW, while solar power totals 3,285MW and wind farms 1,522MW
Other renewables include biogas at 503MW and community and industrial waste-to-energy (361MW and 38MW, respectively).
Licences remain over the next decade for 2,715MW of solar power, 1,500MW of wind power, 944MW of biomass, 780MW of biogas, and 139MW and 12MW of community and industrial waste-to-energy, respectively.
 
This post has been published by: Bangkok Post
 
 
 

Thailand’s Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) announced to release on March 31, 2018, a new national Power Development Plan (PDP), which will replace the 2014 version. The new PDP will furnish details of the deregulation programme.

 

COMING MARCH 31, 2018: Thailand’s new solar rooftop deregulation, legislation and industry practice

Currently, 95% of Thailand’s solar energy is produced in ground-based solar farms. Under the new legislation which will be introduced very soon, the small rooftop quota will increase rapidly. Solar rooftop developments installations on commercial, industrial, governments, public institutions (e.g., schools and hospitals), residential, and any other type of buildings are going mainstream with the introduction of non-utility offtake deals and the opening of the energy market to sell rooftop electricity on demand into the grid. 

Thai companies in the manufacturing sector can utilize rooftop solar not only to improve their environmental profiles but also to lower their operating costs. This offers attractive opportunities, among others, for foreign investors in Thailand’s solar energy industry.

Thailand’s Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) announced to release on March 31, 2018, a new national Power Development Plan (PDP), which will replace the 2014 version. The new PDP will furnish details of the deregulation programme, although Egat will remain the nation’s power generation backbone.

A member of the National Energy Reform Committee is quoted in a Bangkok Post report on 18/01/18 with the words: “Power consumers in Thailand now pay monthly bills for their electricity, but in future, they could generate their own electricity through solar rooftops and sell the surplus power to other users. The coming years will see the rise of prosumers. Prosumers may generate power for their local communities and even sell the surplus outside of that community. ”

Limitations of off-grid solar photovoltaic rooftop facilities 

Solar panels installed on the own rooftop for self-consumption “behind-the-meter” are already widely popular in Bangkok as well as the various production plants in the Eastern Seaboard. The owners of factories, buildings, and residences have installed solar rooftops to produce their own electric power and cut back on expenses. Reductions in technology prices and innovative financing structures help to make government subsidy programmes unneeded and obsolete and made photovoltaics competitive with fossil fuels energy sources. 

However, solar facilities for self-consumption which are not connected to the grid will remain to have a niche character. The missing possibility to utilize a surplus of excessive energy limit the flexibility and profitability of solar rooftop installments. The current legislation bans owners of for detached houseswarehouses, factories, and offices to sell their leftover capacity to the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT). 

Under a regulation of the Energy Regulation Commission as of 2013, solar rooftop energy of up to 10 MW can be sold to the governmental utilities PEA and MEA. The regulation defines the criteria, procedures, and conditions of a power purchase.

The rooftop is defined as a roof, deck, or any part of the building. “Building” means a building according to the Building Act in which persons can reside or utilize. The definition does not include wall, fence, banner or banner’s structure, parking area, U-turn area, access way for vehicle, or likewise structure.

Rent a rooftop: Deregulation allows grid-connected photovoltaic rooftop facilities

Latest governmental announcements predict a sunny future: In the next months, it will be allowed to sell electricity, generated by privately owned solar rooftops, to state utilities. This will open the sun gate to substantial investments in solar rooftop developments. However, this will not be more than the first step in an open energy market. 

On an international level, energy consuming businesses are taking advantage of third-party ownership options. Under solar leases or private power purchase agreements, electricity customers gain financial benefits without a substantial investment or pre-payment. However, the devil is in the detail and the commercial agreements for the solar rooftop venture have to be adjusted to the specific legislation in Thailand which is not yet disclosed. The alternative is to purchase or lease a solar system by the rooftop owner to produce electricity on his own. 

 

More about the new legislation: 

Seven Questions: Thailand’s new solar rooftop legislation

Main structural questions of the new legislation cover three topics:

  • Regulatory and commercial terms for a power purchase agreement with EGAT (firm PPA, etc.)
  • Possibility to enter into a commercial or industrial power purchase agreement (C&I PPA) to sell electricity to a private party
  • Electricity production license requirements and a possible total capacity limit.

Various other legal and commercial issues have to be taken into consideration under the new regulatory framework. Maybe most important will be the scope of flexibility to reflect changes in the business environment during the lifecycle of the project. 

Professional services in the emerging solar rooftop industry 

PUGNATORIUS Ltd. is a Bangkok-based specialist provider of bespoke transactional legal and tax advice in the corporate and property legal and taxation industry sectors. With respect to Thailand’s sustainable energy industry, the law firm is specialized to guide foreign developers and investors through the red-tape requirements, legal hurdles, and industry practice of solar power projects in Thailand.

The professional services include:

  • Preparation of a legal specification sheet for developers to invest in Thai solar panels on rooftops of private or governmental buildings.
  • Design and drafting of the comprehensive contractual arrangements for the solar rooftop development venture
  • Drafting and negotiation of reservation agreements with rooftop owners for a cooperation with foreign developers and investors.
  • Drafting and negotiation of C&I PPA’s under the new legislative regime
  • Design of a tailor-made foreign investment structure in compliance with the new solar rooftop energy legislation in 2018.
  • Support in the comprehensive application process for investment promotion by the BOI Board of Investment

Ask the law firm for a consultancy and support offer to participate in Thailand’s second solar gold rush. Get solar lessons you do not want to learn the hard way.

This post has been published: Pugnatorius Ltd.

 
 

Solar panel makers hit by shortage of key material

NEW YORK: Solar manufacturers are being battered by higher costs and smaller margins after an unexpected shortage of a critical raw material.

Prices of polysilicon, the main component of photovoltaic cells, spiked as much as 35% in the past four months after environmental regulators in China shut down several factories.

That is driving up production costs as panel prices continue to decline, and dragging down earnings for manufacturers in China, the world’s biggest supplier.

Canadian Solar Inc and Hanwha Q Cells Co have already reported steep declines in profit, and other companies will probably be affected as well, including JA Solar Holdings Co, which reports results Wednesday, and JinkoSolar Holding Co, the biggest publicly traded panel producer

“There’s just not enough polysilicon in China,” said Carter Driscoll, an analyst who covers solar companies for FBR & Co. “If prices don’t come down, it will crush margins.”

The price spike came after an environmental crackdown in China coincided with an annual lull in polysilicon output, according to Jenny Chase, head solar analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Refiners in China typically cut back polysilicon production during the summer for routine maintenance.

Solar manufacturers anticipate the seasonal slowdown, but it was exacerbated this year when China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection shut down several plants that make metallurgical silicon, a partially refined polysilicon that other companies further purify for use in solar cells.

The two events led to a polysilicon shortage that drove prices in China from US$14 to $19 a kilogramme over the past four months, according to Guelph, Ontario-based Canadian Solar, which has most of its manufacturing in China.

“We didn’t expect the polysilicon price to go so high inside China and nobody expected it,” Chief Executive Shawn Qu said on a Nov 9 call with analysts. The second-biggest solar company’s gross margin slumped to 17.5% in the third quarter, from 24.2% in the second quarter, and its net income was less than half what analysts were expecting.

Cost ‘Challenge’

International trade disputes have made it difficult for Chinese manufacturers to look elsewhere for cheaper polysilicon, Driscoll said. Four years ago, China imposed steep tariffs on high-quality polysilicon imported from the US and South Korea, essentially forcing companies to buy locally.

“The elevated polysilicon prices will be a challenge for the group in China,” said Jeffrey Osborne, an analyst at Cowen & Co. “What happens next year is unclear given demand dynamics early in the year relative to the pace of additional supply coming online in China.”

Polysilicon is a semiconducting material refined from quartzite, a dense rock created when sandstone is crushed between tectonic plates. China-based companies including GCL-Poly Energy Holdings Ltd and Xinte Energy Co bake the material in giant ovens and treat it with chemicals until it condenses into ingots of near-pure polysilicon. Those ingots are sliced into wafers using diamond-edged saws, and then cut into squares to make solar cells that transform sunlight into electricity.

Third-quarter net income at Hanwha fell 88% from a year earlier to $5 million, in part because of “downward pressure on gross margin, caused primarily by increasing wafer prices”, the South Korea-based company said Nov 10.

JA Solar declined to discuss the issue until after its third-quarter results are released this week. JinkoSolar, which has not set a date to issue its results, didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Polysilicon prices vary by region. A Bloomberg New Energy Finance index of average global spot prices shows polysilicon climbed to $15.80 a kilogramme in October, the highest since July 2016. That’s well below the record set in 2008, when the solar industry first began to boom and prices spiked to $475 a kilogramme.

Solar companies’ exposure to prices will vary, in part depending on the length of their supply contracts. Canadian Solar, for instance, had access to a limited supply of low-priced polysilicon during the third quarter, thanks to contracts signed at the end of June. That’s no longer the case.

“I think in the long term things will balance, but we don’t have direct control of those raw materials, unfortunately,” Qu said. “I hope this is as high as it can go.”

This post has been published: www.bangkokpost.com

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