Survey Research on the Status and Policy of Smart Grid Related to the Virtual Power Plants (VPP) Technology in Thailand

Preface

The use of VPP technologies can lead to more efficiency, reduce costs, and lower carbon emissions.

The increasing utilization of renewable energy resulting in their higher penetration of the grid systems leads to uncertainties and violent fluctuation in the grid system. Virtual Power Plant (VPP) can be the technology system and approach that can solve the problem due to the increasing share of renewable energy in the grid. The use of VPP technologies can lead to more efficiency, reduce costs, and lower carbon emissions. It can also be used to solve energy security problems in both the production and consumption of energy. VPP collect and manage Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) into one power plant through a single digital VPP Platform.

The electricity markets in different countries or regions are highly diverse in terms of electricity market structures, determining the variables needed in designing VPP business models. The countries that are gaining success in the implementation and deployment of VPP technologies are those with deregulated electricity markets. In regulated markets, where there is also increasing deployment of renewable energy based DERs, there will be a need for automation, applying VPP technologies. Thus, even regulated market, there will be increasing deployment of VPP. This will need a review and possible changes in the regulated electricity market framework.

Thailand has a high potential for the demonstration and implementation of VPP technologies because the rapid adoption of renewable energy in the country in the last decades is now bringing problems affecting the stability of the national power grid. Thailand Ministry of Energy has also launched the “2015-2036 Master Plan for Smart Grid Network Development”. This master plan is also seen to drive the development of VPP technologies.

In this study conducted by SGtech-NU, a survey was conducted among experts from relevant public and private sector agencies, organizations, and institutions. The survey/study analyzed the experts’ opinions (using the Delphi Technique) on the directions, trends, perspectives, and other key aspects, regarding the status and the current and the needed policy directions for supporting VPP technologies under the master plan.

We would like to express our gratitude to the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) for providing financial support to this survey/study project. We would also like to extend our thank and express our appreciation to the SGtech-NU report-writing team, who assisted in preparing this report.

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