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         Minister of Energy delivered the vision at the seminar “Energy Disruption: Thai Energy in the Disruptive Era” and pointed out that disruption must benefit the public and country, and line up with Thailand’s strengths. EGAT’s Deputy Governor - Strategy reaffirms that EGAT is ready to handle the change to energy era smoothly and meet the government’s policy towards becoming the energy hub of ASEAN.


         On August 5, 2019, Bangkok Biz News held the seminar “Energy Disruption: Thai Energy in the Disruptive Era,” a platform to express opinions on the role of innovative energy technology which is changing the energy industry, government policy, and the adjustment of the private sector. The seminar also discusses the course of development and building security for Thai energy. Mr. Sontirat Sontijirawong, Minister of Energy delivered the vision and Mr. Kulit Sombatsiri, Permanent Secretary of Energy Ministry delivered the memorable speech about “Thai Energy in the Disruptive Era.” On this occasion, Mr. Patana Sangsriroujana, EGAT’s Deputy Governor - Strategy, Mr. Worawat Pitayasiri, Vice President of Innovation and Digital at PTT Public Company Limited, Mr. Veeraphol Jirapradikul, Director of Energy Fund Administration Institute (Public Organization), and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Kulyos Audomvongseree, Director of Energy Research Institute at Chulalongkorn University discussed the topic “Monitoring the Energy Situation in Thailand.” More than 500 participants from public and private sectors, academics, the media, and the interested public joined the seminar in the Grand Ballroom at InterContinental Bangkok Hotel, Bangkok.


         Mr. Sontirat Sontijirawong, Minister of Energy delivered the vision on energy. He said the world is about to change, technology is changing rapidly and has impacted the change of energy. All sectors have to adapt, including EGAT who is moving towards the development of renewable energy innovation, which is about to replace fossil fuel energy. Solar energy will be a suitable energy for Thailand. The energy industry will change to the prosumer era (people can be consumers, producers, and sellers of electricity or other types of energy). These are the Ministry of Energy’s policies which will turn the community into one of the players of “Energy for All” because energy does not belong to any particular group.

         The heart of energy disruption is energy storage because in power generation, there is both excess and loss of power. If a good storage system is successful, it will lead to a future energy world. Not only will it benefit the energy platform but also increase competitiveness in the automotive industry, namely electrical vehicles, which will solve environmental problems in the future. Whether the electrical vehicle can proceed depends on the energy storage system. For that reason, Thailand must rapidly adapt towards this direction.

         In addition to the Energy for All policy which takes care of the impact on the public and build the country’s ability to compete, the Ministry of Energy also has a policy for Thailand to become an energy hub of ASEAN to solve the problem of energy security and affordable cost for the public. Therefore, the course of energy disruption must reduce energy cost. To become the hub of ASEAN, the disruption must occur in both energy distribution and energy storage. If Thailand is successful, we will not only build security for the country, but also for the region too.

         “Disruption will be useless if it does not benefit the public and the country. The country must have the ability to compete and have energy security. The important thing that comes with managing disruption is choosing a transition which is in line with Thailand’s strength,” said Minister of Energy.


         Mr. Kulit Sombatsiri, Permanent Secretary of Energy Ministry said the course of energy development in the disruption era are as follows: 1) Develop the infrastructure by developing the transmission line into a smart grid and improve from one way communication to two way communication so users can produce and sell electricity to the grid 2) Power generation with prosumers (people who are consumers, producers, and sellers of electricity to the grid) which will be possible by developing smart grid and smart meter 3) Develop renewable energy to be secure and stable with battery energy storage, such as the Butterfly Village where they use solar energy during the day and store energy in the form of hydrogen which is converted back to electricity to be used during the night.

         “Developing the 3 aspects of energy will lead to creating and developing energy start-up businesses, such as using blockchain to manage the distribution of renewable energy to households, developing disruptive innovation, combining Internet of Things (IoT) with blockchain leading to smart home,” said Permanent Secretary of Energy Ministry.

         Moreover, he summarized the Ministry of Energy’s policies for the disruption era comprising 4D and 1E namely Digitalization: support the upgrade of the grid to smart grid, support the development of energy storage, build stability for community power plants and large power plants, and push Thailand towards becoming the energy hub of ASEAN; Decarbonization: promote renewable energy which has less carbon dioxide emission, generate and consume power from solar energy, biomass, and biogas, and promote the energy sector to absorb excess agricultural products to be mixed with oil in order to reduce carbon, which also helps raise the cost; Decentralization: support power distribution via the grid and outside of the grid, support building electricity balance in all regions; Deregulation: promote energy related start-ups, revise the regulations of the Energy Conservation and Promotion Fund to support the communities’ energy business; and Electrification: expand the electric vehicle network, and promote electric vehicles.


         Mr. Patana Sangsriroujana, EGAT’s Deputy Governor - Strategy said during the seminar “Monitoring the Energy Situation in Thailand,” that the change from 1st generation power system, which use fossil fuels, to 2nd generation power system, which use renewable energy, will create a disruption. The importance of large power plants will decrease because there are small power plants that use renewable energy spread out everywhere (decentralization), while large transmission lines will be replaced by micro grid and smart grid.

         “EGAT has cooperated with the International Energy Agency (IEA) to study how to combine the conventional power generation system, which use fossil fuels, with renewable energy smoothly with no impact and the lowest cost and came up with the following resolution: 1) Grid Modernization; to combine the conventional power generation system with renewable energy smoothly 2) Grid Connectivity; to connect power trading in order to result in a lower cost than neighboring countries generating their own electricity, which also meets the government's policy to move Thailand towards becoming the energy hub of ASEAN 3) Energy Liberalization; in the future, EGAT will have the opportunity to be a part of this system whether it’s power pool or 3rd party access in the transmission system. EGAT has a strategy for its organization and workforce to prepare for this situation and to understand the process under the international regulations. At present, EGAT is joining hands with the Stock Exchange of Thailand to study the possibility of setting up an energy trading,” said EGAT’s Deputy Governor - Strategy.


         Furthermore, there was a seminar on “Energy Innovation Drives Thai Economy” by the executives of public and private sectors who came to exchange viewpoints on energy innovations which is a factor in driving the Thai economy in the future.