“Thailand’s push for regional energy trading could be a step to increasing security of supply and system resiliency, particularly as falling costs and higher government targets increase the volume of variable renewable energy generation in the ASEAN region.” – Caroline Chua, Bloomberg Finance analyst covering Southeast Asian power markets.
Thailand aims to be the power-trading hub as it jump-starts plans to create a south east Asian electricity “super-grid”.
According to Bloomberg, Thailand is set to triple the amount of electricity from Laos that it then resells to Malaysia, while encouraging infrastructure upgrades stretching from Cambodia to Myanmar necessary for cross-border power trading. Laos has been building new hydro-electric dams in the past decade and branding itself as the ‘battery of south east asia’.
The director general of Thailand’s energy policy and planning office, Wattanapong Kurovat, says the moves are part of Energy Minister’s efforts to simplify Thailand’s power system, making it cheaper and more efficient.
The plans would involve Thailand buying more electricity for the national grid from neighbouring Laos, which is generating more than it needs from dams along the Mekong River and its tributaries. Thailand would then surplus power in its own grid to sell on to Malaysia, Myanmar and Cambodia.
Thailand already has existing grid interconnection with Laos and Malaysia. Since 2018, Malaysia has been buying 100 megawatts from Laos, passing through Thailand, and is looking to increase the volume to 300 megawatts. Border towns in Cambodia and Myanmar have also been buying small amounts of electricity from Thailand. Read the rest of the story at Bloomberg.