Technological advancement that makes clean energy more efficient and sustainable

The energy industry around the world today is entering the phrase of 'Energy Disruption' era, where traditional energy consumption is being transformed into the new trend of ‘3Ds’; namely, 1) Decarbonization, which uses technology as a supplement to make power generation cleaner by reducing CO2 emissions, 2) Decentralization, which focuses on the enhancement of power generation sources and distribution and apply knowledge to the private sectors, communities and households to sustainably install energy production sources such as solar rooftop solutions or solar power plants for independent electricity generation and resell. If supported appropriately by the government, this concept will help leverage the development of energy distribution more constructively. 3) Digitalization, using advanced technology to unlock, monitor, control and manage clean energy consumption, this can account for greater efficiency and sustainability. Information from Fortunebusinessinsights.com indicated that the global solar market in 2026 is estimated to increase in size, up to 4,766 gigawatts1. Therefore, “BANPU NEXT”, a subsidiary of BANPU as becomes a total smart clean energy solutions provider in the Asia-Pacific, we have gathered 5 technologies that will play an important role in solar energy consumption in Thailand. These consist of the Internet of Things (IoT), the Micro-grid System, the Energy Storage System, the Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Blockchain Technology.

Mrs. Somruedee Chaimongkol
Chief Executive Officer of Banpu Public Company Limited and Acting Chief Executive Officer of Banpu Next Company Limited

Mrs. Somruedee Chaimongkol, Chief Executive Officer of Banpu Public Company Limited and Acting Chief Executive Officer of Banpu Next Company Limited, explained that “Thailand has a tendency to use more solar energy, both from the private and government sectors that started to see its importance and have become more conscious of the environmental conservation. With supportive policies from the government, it is aimed that Thailand will increase its electricity generation from solar energy up to 6,000 megawatts by 20362. As a result, Banpu Next Co. Ltd, under the Greener & Smarter strategy of BANPU, underlines the goal to drive growth continuously and sustainably by expanding the clean energy business portfolio in response to the world's energy usage trend in the future. We strive to integrate modern technology with energy management systems in order to develop applications and improve the after-sales service system of the company, especially for the solar power generating business. On this occasion, we would like to present 5 cutting-edge technologies for solar energy that will help increase the energy use for greater efficiency, stability, worthiness and sustainability, as well as helping operators or installers of solar power generation systems to suitably manage their energy operations of each organization in order to reduce long-term costs.”

3 Technologies BANPU Brought to Enhance the Capacity of the Solar Solution

The Internet of Things (IoT) is the technology that connects devices through the internet. BANPU uses IoT to manage the operation of the equipment and help enhance the after-sales service to achieve more efficiency. By connecting the working data of various devices in the solar power generation system; namely, The operation data of the power generation system of the sites, the light intensity information, the temperature on the panels, and the wind speed of the worksites, we can process the centralized cloud data and show the results to 1) Our customers – using BANPU’s own mobile applications to show various information. This makes it easier for the users to check the operation of the solar panel, to view the electrical power data, to better understand the daily energy saving information, as well as to get updated by notifications which include the calculated amount of CO2 reduced from using the solar energy which is displayed by an equivalent of water saving amount or the number of plantings. 2) Increased potential for the after-sales service – the data enable engineering team and after-sales service team to receive information about the system operation and the electricity usage behavior of each site, including various disorders, real-time troubleshoot notifications, in order to propose solutions to the problems more quickly.

Micro-grid Power System is a technology that can distribute electricity independently without having to connect to the electricity network or work in parallel with the original electrical network system. It consists of the Electricity Generating System from clean energy sources such as solar or wind energy, the Energy Storage System, and the Energy Management System. The micro-grid system can be used and produced 100% of solar energy without having to rely on electricity from other sources. Recently, BANPU has introduced the mobile micro-grid system to be used as a source of electricity in several lifestyle events, including concerts and festivals in order to create a clean energy experience for Thai people. Currently, Thailand has implemented the micro-grid system in some industrial areas and Smart City projects as well.

Energy Storage System is the key to improve the capacity of solar energy management. Aside from being a reserve for energy storage at night, the system also helps increase the stability of energy consumption, as well as enhancing a suitable distribution of energy for the consumption in different periods. BANPU has partnered up with Durapower Holdings to develop a lithium-ion battery factory in Suzhou, China and bring energy expertise to develop advanced solar energy storage systems for the industrial and household sectors as another way to help the society to use solar energy more efficiently, both day and night. In addition, if the government supports an electricity trading policy in the future, users can sell their excess electricity from the energy storage system, which will help promote the use of solar energy more widely.

2 Technologies that BANPU Recognizes to Play an Important Role in Enhancing Potential of Solar Energy Consumption in the Future

Artificial Intelligence (AI) using AI technology for the solar and energy circles can help facilitate the processing of large amount of data, such as areas or communities that use different amount of energy, multiple power generating sites in the system either solar power plants, wind power or hydro power, with a very complex network of power generation and distribution systems, for instance. AI is able to collect data quickly, of which can be analyzed, processed, and can accurately predict the trend of the energy generation and consumption in order to design an appropriate source of energy and quantity. Moreover, AI can anticipate future problems of the system, allowing us to quickly plan preventative maintenance. BANPU believes that AI will play a crucial role in smart energy management in Smart City projects and solar projects which will expand rapidly in the near future. It’s become widely recognized that AI can be used for proactive management planning, as well as energy and system maintenance, such as offering solutions that add value and reduce energy costs for customers more efficiently.

Blockchain is a technology that can be used to develop the Energy Trading Platform, which is a network connecting users (Peer-to-peer Network) to allow buying and selling of electricity directly without passing through an intermediary. The blockchain data storage system is highly secure, reliable, fast, and free from transaction errors. Therefore, it is suitable for the use of electricity trading between the manufacturers and each user in the system. Currently, in Thailand, both public and private sectors have initiated projects that allow consumers to generate electricity for their own usage and can sell it among each other through the blockchain system.

“BANPU believes that these technologies will be important components in building a Smart City and a Smart-Grid Electricity Infrastructure that will help drive the growth of Thailand sustainably. Therefore, we will focus on bringing technology to enhance the operational capacity and offering a variety of clean energy solutions for all sectors. Meanwhile, we will continue expanding portfolio of the clean energy technology business, including the Electric Vehicle (EV) business, continue to develop the Energy Storage System and expand the Renewable Energy Power Plant in order to push forward all sectors to use more clean energy,” Mrs. Somruedee concluded.

Reference 1 https://www.fortunebusinessinsights.com/industry-reports/solar-power-market-100764
Reference 2 https://www.dede.go.th/download/stat62/Calendar_Year_renewable_Energy_November_2562.pdf