An analysis for promoting residential-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) in Bangkok, Thailand
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Solar Photovoltaic (PV) has a significant potential for distributed energy in the urban environment of Bangkok, Thailand in order to decrease the country’s reliance on imported conventional energy and enhance the country’s energy security. This research analyzes the technical, economic and policy analysis of installing 3,000 MW (Thailand’s solar PV goal) of residential solar PV in Bangkok using System Advisor Model (SAM) and also compares each analysis to large-scale load (e.g. manufacturing). In technical analysis, the relationship of distributed solar energy and electric load from the grid is analyzed. While the residential load and peak solar irradiance are not correspondent for residential scale, generating electricity from 3,000 MW of solar PV can still decrease residential daily load consumption from the grid by 38 percent. On the other hand, the distributed of solar energy and large-scale load are well matched. As a result, the large-scale peak load can be reduced by 16.7 percent from 3,000 MW solar installation. Regarding to economic analysis, the levelized cost of energy of residential scale is higher than large scale. Without tariff, costs of solar electricity are higher than grid price. Therefore, it is necessary to introduce solar tariff to encourage people to install solar PV. Throughout solar project’s lifetime, with current Thailand’s solar incentives (Feed-in Tariff; FIT), solar project investments of both scales seem feasible from financial perspectives under Thai’s government cost assumptions. In addition, due to the increasing urbanization rate and typical land use of Bangkok, residential solar PV seems to be the better candidate. However, some technical and policy barriers remain, such as the lacks of skilled manpower, policy mix, and financing options as well as the inconsistence of governmental support. It is essential for Thai government to overcome these barriers in order to create sustainable growth of solar PV in the country.