Thailand prepares for 2018 smart grid pilot launch

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The Thailand Provincial Electricity Authority prepares roll out of smart grid pilot project in Pattaya by 2018.

The Provincial Electricity Authority (PEA) of Thailand is set to rollout a smart grid pilot project in Pattaya by early 2018 in a bid to improve citywide energy efficiency.

According to the Bangkok Post, the 1 billion baht AMI project is the first in Thailand, and will allow PEA to understand consumer behaviour and utilise behavioural data to improve service delivery.

Under the project, PEA will install 120 000 smart meters in homes, and construct a data centre for the processing of data.

Pongsakorn Yuthagovit, PEA’s deputy director for system planning said the authority chose to implement the smart grid pilot project in Pattaya due to the high-energy consumption rate in the popular tourist city.

The project will allow consumers to access reports of their energy consumption on mobile devices as well as via PEA’s web portal. The project is aimed at encouraging consumers to adopt energy-efficiency measures that can help them save money on their energy bills and offset price increases.

The deputy director confirmed the authority will also use data analytics to produce a forecast of energy demand, savings and prediction, enabling efficient management of electricity generation.

He said PEA is currently drafting a tender, expected to be released by August 2016 to select the smart meter provider.

Smart grid technologies in Asia- Pacific

If successful, the Pattaya project will pave way for the introduction of smart grid systems in other major cities such as Phuket and Chiang Mai.

Charles Anderson, vice-president for mobility and Internet of Things at US-based market research firm, International Data Corporation said IoT was gaining momentum among businesses in Asia Pacific, projecting 20% growth in 2015.

He added that the number of internet-connected devices in the region is expected to reach 4.4 billion this year, with retailers, industrial manufacturers and logistics being early adopters of the IoT in Thailand.

Globally, the number of IoT devices will reach 25 billion by the year-end, doubling to 50 billion by 2020.

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Nicholas Nhede is an experienced energy sector writer based in Clarion Event's Cape Town office. He has been writing for Smart Energy International’s print and online media platforms since 2015, on topics including metering, smart grids, renewable energy, the Internet of Things, distributed energy resources and smart cities. Originally from Zimbabwe, Nicholas holds a diploma in Journalism and Communication Studies. Nicholas has a passion for how technology can be used to accelerate the energy transition and combat climate change.