Thursday, April 17, 2014

Distributed generation (DG) to help address Thailand's energy issues?

This is an article about distributed power generation (DG) in Thailand written by Wärtsilä Power Plants. Thailand being our close neighbour, and due to the fact that it has similar situation to ours in transmitting electricity through challenging terrain, this should be a good read.

What is Distributed Generation (DG)

Distributed generation is also known as embedded or dispersed generation, or on-site generation. DG is electricity generating plant that is connected to a distribution network rather than the transmission network.

There are many types and sizes of DG, including Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plants, wind farms, hydro electric power, solar PV, or one of the new smaller generation technologies.

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I have summarised a long article here, but if you want to read the full writing, I've provided a link at the end of this posting.

Implementing a large central power plant present us with economic of scale but the downside is that it is extremely challenging in terms of site availability, power transmission as well as public concern about environmental issues.

Electricity generation today is moving towards a more decentralised model where generation is close to demand. Possible benefits are diminished transmission and distribution losses and investments, improved energy efficiency, and increased security of supply.

In the case of Thailand, the government incentive schemes such as the feed-in tariff, DG will be more attractive for developers and investors going forward. Small Power Producer (SPP) and Very Small Power Producer (VSPP) programmes are examples of success stories under the DG schemes. Both programmes promote primary energy savings and encourage the use of alternative energy.

Thailand has release power purchase agreements or PPAs (as of December 2013) for:

SSP licences     : 129 projects totaling 11,988 MW in capacity
VSPP licences  : 888 projects totaling  3,727 MW
Still in the process of licencing: 3,250 MW

Thailand's power generation mix

Thailand's total power generation was 33,681 MW as of December 2013, with growth in power demand averages around 4% annually. Thailand's generation system consists of:

1) The Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) - 45%
2) Independent power producers (IPPs) - 38%
3) Small Power Producer (SPPs) - 10%
4) Imported electricity - 7%

Renewable energy sources, being the main contributors to the Distributed Generation, is given emphasis in Thailand's plan for power generation growth. The following Table summarises the incentive for renewable energy power plants, in the form of feed-in tariff:

You can compare this with our Feed-in tariff rates here.

Source: For a complete reading of this article, go to REW portal.

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