Mr. Beebe will be discussing Thailand’s solar leadership and Thailand’s 44MW photovoltaic power plant, the region’s largest, with an audience of high-level global energy experts at Clean Power Asia in Bangkok from 28-30 June.
Thailand’s minister of Energy, Dr Wannarat Channukul, will deliver the welcome address at Clean Power Asia, the largest regional power event which focuses on both renewable and cleaner fossil power. Energy experts from Thailand, Singapore, Korea, China, the Philippines, Australia, Indonesia, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Malaysia, India, Pakistan and Iran will be attending the event.
Some of the best solar resources
Suntech CCO Andrew Beebe says there’s a natural trend for solar power to become an important part of the energy mix in Southeast Asia. He explains: “both Thailand, as well as Southeast Asia’s, natural solar resources are some of the best in the world. Average solar radiation in Thailand is between 2200-2400 kWh/m2/year, which means that solar installations can more quickly make a solid return on their investments and generate the electricity that they promise. Other countries in the region present healthy natural economics for solar projects as well.”
Thailand’s solar stewardship could provide regional roadmap
He says, however, that most of Southeast Asia remains a small scale off-grid market. He continues: “Thailand’s PV market was originally based on off-grid solar panel installations, but with the establishment of a highly favorable government ‘adder tariff’ in 2010, the industry began to accelerate rapidly. As solar prices have gradually declined, Thailand has scaled back solar incentives, wisely stewarding the industry’s transition to grid parity. Other countries in the region, such as Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines may look to Thailand as they begin to craft legislation meant to encourage renewable energy generation.”
Bangchak showcases Thailand’s leadership
During Clean Power Asia, Andrew Beebe will give an update on the first phase of ‘Sunny Bangchak’, Bangchak Petroleum’s 44MW project in Ayutthaya province, tipped to be the largest solar power project in Thailand and Southeast Asia: “We are proud to work with our local partner, Solartron, to complete this project and it will showcase the importance of solar power in this growing economic region. The project is composed of two phases. The first phase consists of a 34.5MW installation and the second of an additional 9.43MW to bring the total to 43.93MW of solar power. The project is expected to be completed in October of 2011.”
He continues: “a unique aspect of the Bangchak project is that its design features a BIPV visitor center which will enable tourists, students and the general public to visit the site and learn more about nature’s cleanest energy source. It’s significant in its scope, but it’s also representative of Thailand’s leadership in the solar industry and its commitment to renewable energy technologies.”
Solar prices continue to decline
According to Andrew Beebe solar has become increasingly cost effective. “Our aim is to drive solar toward gird parity in 50% of world markets by 2015. We are on track to hit this goal, as solar prices across the industry continue to decline on average of 6% a year. One of the major reasons for the decline in the price has been the increase in efficiency of our panels. Suntech is an industry leader with high-value, low cost products.”
Andrew Beebe notes that Suntech’s world record-breaking Pluto technology has achieved well over 19% conversion efficiencies in commercial solar cell production. “Continuing our industry leadership, our technology roadmap is to hit 21% cell efficiency in commercial production by 2012. These efficiency improvements, along with advances in our supply chain management and in-house wafering capacity, will help to drive the cost of solar down to below a dollar per watt by about 2013.”
Solar taking off everywhere under the sun
Suntech is involved in several milestone projects globally including Israel’s largest photovoltaic project (4.9MW) due to be completed in early June. CCO Beebe adds: “in the U.S., we are building a 150MW solar power plant near our new manufacturing facility in Goodyear, Arizona. Really, what’s most exciting is to see the solar industry take off around the world. Solar is becoming a mainstream power generation solution everywhere under the sun.”
Clean Power Asia (cleanpower-asia.com) delegates will have the opportunity to see the Bangchak project for themselves as it is one of the solar site visits during the event. The Ned Project, which is the world’s largest silicon thin-film solar farm in the making, is the second site visit destination.
More highlights from the Clean Power Asia programme include:
• China WindPower plans to build and operate up to 800 MW of new wind farms by 2012;
• Keys to success from Southeast Asia’s largest solar power plant project in Thailand;
• Optimizing Hydropower generation in peninsular Malaysia – TNB’s Green Energy Initiatives;
• Update on the Wayang Windu Project in Indonesia;
• Landhi Bio Gas, Karachi – The largest bio waste to energy project in Pakistan.
Cleaner fossil power generation:
• Environmental considerations related to the development and implementation of the 660MW coal-fired power plant project in Thailand (Gheco-One);
• Successful cleaner fossil fuel coal based power plant development: the Tianjin IGCC project in China;
• PLN Indonesia’s approach to environmentally friendly coal power production;
• Thailand’s Mae Moh coal fired power plant’s achievements in reducing emissions through technological and operational improvements;
• Korea’s experiences in cost savings while generating ultra-clean electricity.
Leading government and industry experts on the programme include:
• Sutat Patmasiriwat, Governor, Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT), Thailand
• Pongsakorn Tantiwanichanon, Deputy Governor Planning and System Development, Provincial Electricity Authority (PEA), Thailand
• Luluk Sumiarso, Director General of New and Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation, Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, Indonesia
• Dato’ Ir. Azman Bin Mohd, COO, Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB), Malaysia
• Dr. Direk Lavansiri, Chairman, Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), Thailand
• Ir. Ahmad Fauzi Hasan, CEO, Energy Commission, Malaysia
• Luluk Sumiarso, Director General for New and Renewable Energy and Conservation, Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, Indonesia
• Mr Nguyen Ninh Hai, Renewable Energy Expert, Ministry of Industry and Trade, Vietnam
• Xaypaseuth Phomsoupha, Director General, Department of Energy Promotion and Development, Ministry of Energy and Mines, Lao PDR
• Atty. Maria Floreselda Abalos-Sampaga, Chief Officer Legal Department, Energy Regulatory Commission, Philippines
• Ir. Ahmad Fauzi Hasan, CEO, Energy Commission, Malaysia
• Maaike Göbel, Manager, Southeast Asia and Pacific Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP), Australia
• Nur Pamudji Director for Primary Energy, PT PLN (Persero), Indonesia.
Event dates: Conference dates: 28-30 June, Site visits (optional): 30 June
Event location: Intercontinental Hotel, 973 Ploenchit Road, Bangkok, Thailand