AORC Technical meeting 2014

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1 AORC Technical meeting 2014 http : // C Tariff Analysis for Integration of Renewable Energy Sources to the National Grid MISS SUPANIDA WONGSOMBOON Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand Thailand SUMMARY Nowadays the electric power industry is confronted with several energy challenging issues: the rising demand for electricity, climate change, and dwindling fossil fuel reserves. To reduce the power sector s dependency on fossil fuels, renewable energy is a substitute alternative. In response to the country s energy policy to promote the use of renewable energy, Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) as a major supplier of electricity to the country is not only diversify new electricity generating sources but also provide sufficient power grid infrastructure to the whole country. EGAT has to invest a lot of money in the new transmission project because of limitations of existing power grids connecting to renewable energy resources. To analyse the electricity tariff effects, we have to investigate not only the effects from increasing share of renewable energy in fuel mix generation but also the expenditure on power grid investment. The results under Thailand s current electricity tariff structure were found that the electricity price increased due to expenditure on new power grid which were calculated in the Base Tariff part. In addition, there are still certain production cost disadvantages of renewable energy when compared with fossil fuels, particularly the higher production costs and uncertainty of energy sources that are subject to seasonal changes and weather conditions which transpire directly to a higher electricity price. Moreover, there are regulatory incentives for the private sector to invest in renewable energy projects by providing attractive power purchasing rates at a prespecified tariff for a pre-specified period of time. As a result, this may be disadvantages if we compared the electricity price among ASEAN countries since the electricity prices affects all electric power customers in both residential and industrial sectors consequently to the country economy. Therefore, to eradicate national energy situations and upgrade its competitiveness, it is important to find a balance between energy security, environmental impact and tariff affordability. KEYWORDS Electricity Tariff - Power Grid - Renewable Energy - Government Policies - Regulatory Incentives

2 1. Introduction Today, most of electricity supply is generated from fossil fuels and the truth is there is only a limited amount of fossil fuels while demand for electricity is continually increasing. Saving energy and finding new ways to generate electricity have become urgent issues. The renewable energy from non fossil fuel such as solar, wind and biomass is proving to be a viable alternative to improve energy security, promote economic development, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reduce energy price volatility. Not only finding new electricity generating sources, but having sufficient grid infrastructure is also an important issue. EGAT as a major supplier of electricity to the country is responsive to the country s energy policy to provide adequate and reliable electricity supply to meet growing energy demand growth and climate objectives with price stability and affordability. The electricity price plays an important role in the economy since it affects all electric power customers in both industrial and residential sectors. To study the future scenarios of integrating more renewable energy sources with regard to electricity tariff, the purposes of this paper were to investigate the electricity tariff and regulatory incentives from increasing share of renewable energy in fuel mix generation and the expenditure on power grid investment for connecting renewable energy sources to the grid. Additionally, to prepare the country for participation in the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) the electricity rates were compared among ASEAN countries to assess the economic competitiveness. 2. Current Electricity Situation in Thailand The electricity supply industry in Thailand is an enhanced single buyer model. EGAT is responsible for generating power from its own power plants, purchasing power from private domestic electricity producers and from neighboring countries, operation of the entire transmission network and transmitting power to two distribution entities, the Metropolitan Electricity Authority (MEA) and the Provincial Electricity Authority (PEA) that are responsible for distributing power to retail customers in the whole country. Policies related to electricity power and natural gas transmission are regulated by the National Energy Policy Council (NEPC) and the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC). (as shown in Figure 1) Policy Regulation NEPC ERC ESI : Electricity Supply Industry Figure 1: The Structure of Thailand s Electric Supply Industry 1

3 The peak power demand in 2013 was about 26,598 MW. The energy supply including generation by EGAT and purchase from private power producers was around 19,201 GWh. Peak power demand and energy supply increased from the previous year by 1.8% and 1.3% respectively. The installed capacity was around 33,681 MW. The majority of power plants were combined cycle and thermal plants using natural gas as fuel. The total capacity installation was shared 45% by EGAT and 55% by private power producers with a 48% domestic portion and % from neighboring countries. Natural gas was the main fuel source for 6% of energy supply, while other fuel sources such as lignite, imported coal, power purchasing from neighboring countries, hydro, renewable energy and oil respectively contributed 10%, 10%, %, 3%, 2% and 1% of energy supply [1]. (as shown in Figure 2) Renewable 12% Thai 5 % Hydro 3.0% Biomass 1.9% Others 0.02% Laos 6.9% Hydro 6.9% Energy Generation 19,201 GWh Imported Coal 10.0% Natural Gas 6 % 8 Diesel 0.02% TNB 0.1% Figure 2: Electricity Generation by Fuel Types 2013 Since the main fuel for energy production in Thailand is from natural gas, several concerns have been raised about the cost of electricity generation due to price volatility and supply insecurity. Diversification of fuel mix and sources of supply has thus been required for future continuing power generation. According to the country s energy policy to promote the use of renewable energy, the 10- Year Alternative Energy Development Plan (AEDP hereinafter called the AEDP) was launched in Year 2011 by setting the target to increase the share of renewable energy and alternative energy uses by 25 % instead of fossil fuels within the next 10 years. To comply with the government policy the ministry of energy formulated the target of AEDP plan in power sector to have 9,201 MW of generating capacity from renewable energy in year However, NEPC approved the new target of AEDP on July 16 th, 2013 by adjusting the new goal in power sector to 13,2 MW. The generating capacity target from renewable energy projects details consist of: 1) Solar power 2) Wind power 3) Hydro power (both domestic and neighbouring countries) 4) Biomass 5) Biogas 6) Municipal solid waste (MSW) ) Tides & Waves 8) Geothermal Energy [2] as shown in table 1. 2

4 Unit: MW Type Biomass Solar Wind Mini Pumped Biogas MSW Tides Geothermal Total Hydro Storage & Energy Waves Previous Target 3,630 2,000 1, , ,201 Additional 1,10 1, ,284 3, ,26 New Target 4,800 3,000 1, , ,92 Table 1: AEDP Generating Capacity Target in Power Sector In addition to diversify new electricity generating sources from renewable energy regarding to the government policies, EGAT has a responsibility to provide sufficient power grid infrastructure to the whole country. Most of renewable energy resources are in Northeast of Thailand. There are many proposing of renewable energy projects from Small Power Producers (SPP) and Very Small Power Producers (VSPP). As a result, the electricity supplies from renewable energy are greater than demand for energy in each year according to the Thailand Power Development Plan (hereinafter called PDP). However, there are limitations of existing power grids connecting to renewable energy resources. Thus, EGAT has to develop new transmission system interconnection projects to receive electric power from renewable energy projects in domestic as well as IPP projects in neighbouring countries. These transmission projects will further strengthen system reliability and reduce system outages and thus, minimizing the country s economic loss. 3. Thailand s Electricity Tariff Structure Under Thailand s current tariff structure electricity prices consist of two parts being the Base Tariff adjusted every four years and the Energy Adjustment Charge (Ft) which was adjusted every four months. The base tariff is derived from four factors. The first one being the cost of power plant construction, transmission and distribution at the current exchange rate setting the base tariff. The second factor is base fuel and purchasing costs. Thirdly, operation, maintenance and administration costs. The last one is the return on investment. As a consequence, the purpose of the Ft is to absorb the changing fuel cost, power purchase costs and the impact of policy expenses which are beyond control of the Power Utilities. (as shown in Figure 3) Baht/kWh Part 2 Change of EGAT Fuel and Power Purchase Costs F t Part 1.2 Base EGAT Fuel and Power Purchase Costs Base Tariff Part 1. 1 Construction Costs of Power Plant, Transmission and Distribution Operation, Maintenance and Administration Costs Return Months Figure 3: Electricity Tariff components 3

5 In response to the country s energy policy to promote the use of renewable energy, Thailand s adder program gives incentives for the private sector to invest in renewable energy projects by providing attractive power purchasing rates at a pre-specified tariff for a pre-specified period of time. The program is called Adder because it adds additional payment to renewable energy generators on top of the wholesale prices that power producers would receive when selling electricity to the power utilities. The cost of adder is finance through a pass-through mechanism to all electric power customers. The incremental cost of premium adder payments to renewable energy generators is passed through directly to rate payers, as a special charge in the Ft charge. [3] Thailand s adder rates are differentiated by technology and installed capacity. The adder rates are listed as shown in Table 2 Fuel Types US Dollars per kwh Year Supported Biomass Capacity <= 1 MW Capacity > 1 MW Biogas Capacity <= 1 MW Capacity > 1 MW Mini Hydro 50 kw<=capacity<=200 kw Capacity < 50 kw Municipal solid waste (MSW) Ferment System Heat Wind Power Capacity <= 1 MW Capacity > 1 MW Solar Power NEPC proposed Table 2: Thailand s Adder Rates (Exchange Rate: 1 US Dollars = 30 Thai Baht) During the past few years, the Ministry of Energy has planned to shift the adder measure to the new renewable energy payment called Feed-in tariff. The purpose of feed-in tariffs is to offer cost reflective compensation to renewable energy producers, providing price certainty and long-term contracts that help finance renewable energy investments. [4] At present, NEPC has introduced the feed-in tariff approach to the incremental share of solar power 1,000 MW which consists of 200 MW for solar rooftop and 800 MW for community. [5] 4. The Results The study of electricity tariff when increasing share of renewable energy in fuel mix generation and investing in power grid expenditure for connecting renewable energy sources to the national grid in response to the policy of the Ministry of Energy revealed that the electricity price increased in both components of electricity tariff. The first one is base tariff because of the limitations of existing power grids, EGAT has to develop new transmission system interconnection projects to receive electric power from renewable energy projects. The new transmission system expenditures were accordingly taken to the calculation of the base tariff under the current tariff structure. Although the construction costs of transmission in base tariff cannot directly pass through to the electric customer like the fuel and power purchase costs in Ft, the base tariff itself must be adjusted in every four year. Once the investment plans of the power utilities are developed, an appropriate level of revenue requirement of each utility must be considered to ensure stability of the financial status and capability to expand operations of the power utilities. The three power utilities will undertake an estimate of their financial 10 4

6 status and estimate of the average electricity tariff that would yield the financial status pursuant to the established financial criteria. Under the current tariff structure, the financial criteria setting for revenue requirement for the utilities is return on invested capital (ROIC) which focusing on the return for the utilities investments. Therefore, the electricity tariff must be considered to increase if EGAT has to maintain the revenue in each year in line with the established ROIC due to the increasing investment in transmission system projects. The second electricity price component that increased is Ft since there are still certain production cost disadvantages of renewable energy when compared with fossil fuels [6], particularly the higher production costs and uncertainty of energy sources that are subject to seasonal changes and weather conditions which transpire directly to a higher electricity price. In addition, Thailand s adder program adds additional payment to renewable Energy generators on top of the wholesale prices that power producers would receive when selling electricity to the power utilities. If the wholesale rate increased due to the Ft which absorbs the fuel price that varied from those in the base tariff, the electricity price will increase. Moreover, major fuel generation resources in Thailand still depend on natural gas and its prices continue to increase and as a result the wholesale price rises. At present, the NEPC has approved the incremental share of solar power 1,000 MW to be introduced with the feed-in tariff approach which the utilities purchase from renewable electricity generators is a fixed price for all the project period. The fixed price benefits both consumer and producer in terms of price certainty, predictability and stability. However, a year after the adder was set the electricity price under the adder program may be more or less than the feed-in tariff depending on the wholesale price. Furthermore, the result when comparing the electricity rate between ASEAN countries was found that the increasing of electricity price will affect economic competitiveness of the country since it increased the production costs. However, the different electricity price of ASEAN countries varied due to several reasons such as Philippine has topography as island consequently there are high investments in transmission and distribution projects. Besides, their electricity supply industry is Power Pool, thus actual costs can be reflected to the electric tariff. Indonesia use heavy oil as a major source of their energy supply but the electricity price is still low because of the government subsidies. The natural gas and LNG prices on the world market continue to increase so the country that use natural gas and LNG as main fuel sources tend to confront with the higher electricity tariff [] (as shown in Figure 4) 25 USc/kWh Vietnam Laos Indonesia Malaysia Thailand Singapore Cambodia Philippines Figure 4: ASEAN Average Tariff Rate Year

7 5. Conclusions Electricity has become increasingly important in all areas of our society. There are rising amounts of electricity needed in everyday life from the most common domestic appliances to the vast demands of industry. At the same time, several other big issues must be taken into account: population growth, rising standards of living, climate change, and dwindling fossil fuel reserves. To mitigate these challenges, EGAT as a major electricity supplier to the country, we not only try to attain a secure, adequate, reliable, affordable and clean electricity supply but also try to search for the fair electricity prices. As the limitations of existing power grids connecting to renewable energy resources and the new grid investment costs are very high there must be a trade-off between the cost of grid infrastructure investment and the benefit of electricity from renewable energy sources. The increasing share of renewable energy sources and the expenditure on power grid investment directly affect the electricity tariff. To make fair electricity tariff for both suppliers and consumers, the suitable financial criteria to set revenue requirement for the utilities is also facilitate the utilities to invest in the projects efficiently. Since to find new generation sources and invest in infrastructure grid use a lot of money if the ROIC is not reflect the real cost of electricity production, the revenue requirement that is suitable for the utilities are unable to decentralize the power to the whole country. Consequently, dedicated tariff systems ensured that all costs and investments for the future were fully apportioned to the customers. Thus to eradicate national energy situations and upgrade its competitiveness, it is important to find a balance between energy security, environmental impact and tariff affordability. There is a need for both public and private cooperation to find the best solution. Not only is the supply side management to diversify fuel mix and sources of supply, the demand side management in energy conservation is also essential. Tariff level is one of significant means reducing the demand of power usage that the utilities can use parallel to the supply side management in order to meet the target of mitigating the challenges of the increasing demand of electricity. Moreover, the country s policies should be linked to context of other countries in the region. 6. References [1] Energy Policy and Planning Office, Ministry of Energy, Thailand, Energy Situation [2] Department of Alternative Energy Development and Efficiency (DEDE), Ministry of Energy, (2012), Alternative Energy Development Plan (AEDP ), Thailand. [3] Tongsopit, S.,Greacen, Chris, Thailand s Renewable Energy Policy: FiTs and Opportunities for International Support, 31 May 2012 [4] Adder or Feed-in Tariff? [5] The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), Regulation of the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) on Power Purchase from Solar PV Rooftop 2013, published on 30 August [6] [] The Office of the Energy Regulatory Commission, Average Tariff Rate

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