ASEAN-China Capacity Building on Solar PV+ Utilisation – Day 3

Online, 6 October 2022

ASEAN Centre for Energy (ACE) and China Renewable Energy Engineering Institute (CREEI) the “ASEAN-China Capacity Building on Solar PV+ Utilisation” series, with support from the ASEAN-China Cooperation Fund (ACCF). The capacity building series is among the activities of the project “Utilisation of Solar PV to Support the Green Economic Recovery in ASEAN Post COVID-19”, in accordance with the Programme Area 5: Renewable Energy under the ASEAN Plan of Action for Energy Cooperation (APAEC) Phase II: 2021-2025.

On the first and second days of the series, the event gathered solar PV+ experts, industry leaders, and government officials from ASEAN and China to discuss solar PV potential as a green recovery strategy and its potential in agriculture, fishery, and animal husbandry fields. Whereas on Day 3, the last day of the event series, the discussion theme revolves around Solar PV+ in Building and Ecological Management.

(Pictured: panellists, moderators and host of the ASEAN-China Capacity Building on Solar PV+ Utilisation).

Session 1 – Solar PV+ Utilization in Building

The first session of day 3, ASEAN-China Capacity Building, was moderated by Ms Monika Merdekawati, Technical Officer of Sustainable Energy, Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (REE) Department of ACE, with the topic about Solar PV+ Utilization in Building. There were two honourable speakers to begin the session and a panel discussion at the end of the session with four panellists from focal points and experts.

The first speaker, Ar. Dr. Lim Chin Haw, a senior research fellow of the Solar Energy Research Institute (SERI) of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), explained his collaborative project with the Ministry of Health Malaysia in utilising hybrid Photovoltaic Thermal (PVT) and heat pump system at Hospital Kepala Batas, Malaysia. In this system, each 8kWp PV module is integrated with solar thermal technology, and heat sinks to increase the module efficiency to power the 16.5 kW air-sourced heat pump. The hot air from the PVT module is directed towards the heat pump and then processed to help heat the 600 L water supply in the hospital. After the heat is removed from the hot air, some produced cool air is distributed for the space-cooling purpose in the hospital ward, while the others are to the PVT module. From this study, he and his team successfully increased the thermal comfort in the hospital ward from the PMV (Predicted Mean Vote) upper limit of 2.5 (warm-to-hot) to 1.5 (slightly warm-to-warm).

The second speaker, Dr. Zulfikar Yurnaidi, Senior Officer of REE Department at ACE, gave a comprehensive presentation about the 7th ASEAN Energy Outlook (AEO7) and how the solar PV+ application can take part in decarbonising the power sector. He mentioned in AEO7 that four scenarios within 2021–2050 are covered to help energy stakeholders understand what measures should be taken to realise the regional renewable energy targets. These targets include achieving a 23% of renewable energy (RE) share in Total Primary Energy Supply (TPES) and a 35% RE share in power generation installed capacity by 2025. These scenarios are the baseline scenario, AMS target scenario (ATS), APAEC target scenario (APS), and Least Cost Optimization (LCO) scenario. From all scenarios, it is realised that although RE share increases in TPES of the year 2050, fossil fuels remain the largest energy supply required to fuel the region’s economic growth, especially in the transportation and industrial sectors. Thus, electrification and the utilisation of end-use renewables, such as solar PV, will be the key to achieving the clean energy target in the region. However, a brighter story comes from the annual investment perspective. If policymakers in each AMS choose to adapt to a more assertive approach in the clean energy transition, the cumulative investment in 2021-2050 will become lower. The estimated cumulative investment in billion USD from lowest to highest are LCO, APS, ATS, and baseline scenario with 650, 825, 879, and 970, respectively.

After two speakers’ presentations, Ms. Monika Merdekawati invited Mr. Widya Adi Nugroho, Mr. Watcharin Pachityen, Ar. Dr. Lim Chin Haw, and Dr. Zulfikar Yurnaidi to discuss about the utilisation of solar PV+ in building across ASEAN region.


Session 2 – Solar PV+ Utilization in Ecological and Community Management

The second session was moderated by Mr. Arkorn Soikaew, a scientist from DEDE Thailand, with the topic revolved around Solar PV+ Utilization in Ecological and Community Management.

This session was opened by the presentation of Mr. Feungyot Saowapakpaiboon, Energy Solution Manager of SUSUNN by SCG Ceramics, on solar floating and rooftop projects at Nongkhae industrial district. Since March 2016, this project has generated more than 236 MWh annually and has a payback period ranging from 5-7 years, depending on the type of installation. A newly commissioned project that finished last year utilised bifacial and tracker technology in their installation, which gave additional yield gain of 3% and 17%, respectively, compared to the mono-facial and fix-bifacial solar modules. To date, his company has finished 79 solar projects in Thailand and the Philippines with a total capacity of 62.7 MWp and has offset more than 0.05 Mt of CO2 yearly. Currently, SUSUNN just launched a microgrid pilot project to promote a higher circular economy between solar PV systems by allowing excess electricity trade from one another.

The session was continued by Mr. Kong Qingyu, Solar Project Financing Director at Chongho Bridge. As a background, he mentioned that his company decided to finance residential PV rooftops in rural areas of China since it brings many social benefits, such as promoting the shared prosperity of farmers and enhancing urban-rural integration. Their efforts are also backed up by great support from the government of China, such as what is depicted in the “whole county promotion” policy by the National Energy Administration. The policy accentuates that government buildings, public buildings, industrial and commercial buildings, as well as rural residential buildings, are expected to install PV modules in the area not less than 50%, 40%, 30%, and 20% of the total roof area. In Chongho Bridge, he added, the primary business model for PV rooftops being adapted is the rental model, where energy developers rent rooftops from farmers, and the revenue from the electricity generation goes straight back to the investor. As a result, all stakeholders involved in the business model would profit from the PV rooftop installation. Roughly, developers will receive a 9% annual return, and farmers will receive a passive income of up to RMB 6000 (±USD 843) yearly.

Continuing the discussion, Mr. Arkorn invited three other panellists to join the conversation. These are Mr. Watcharin Pachityen, Mr. Gan Boon Hean, and Mr. Praptono Adi Sulistomo.

The discussion began with Mr. Kong Qingyu and Mr. Feungyot Saowapakpaiboon giving their answer on the learning experience that AMS can adopt from their projects and how it can be improved. Firstly, Mr. Kong stated two things from his business that can be learned. First is how the connection and experience dealing with local people will become a huge advantage to open the cooperation with investors and developers. Second, giving the right education to rural residents is the key to gaining their confidence in PV rooftop instalment. Since the economic condition in most AMS is similar in China, he also amplified the importance of PV rooftops in promoting common prosperity between rural and urban societies. Moreover, with fewer high-rise buildings in rural areas, the location is more suitable for embarking on more PV rooftop instalments, which will become a tremendous market opportunity that benefits all energy stakeholders. Then, from Mr. Feungyot’s standpoint, he underlined that since a pond is essential in almost every industrial district in AMS, thus solar floating technology can be adopted there too.

Mr. Gan Boon Hean, CEO of Leader Energy, then added his point of view on optimising solar PV+ in ecological and community management in AMS. With his extensive experience in solar PV with Leader Energy, which operates in several countries, including Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Viet Nam, and Taiwan, he mentioned that the massive barrier to operating and installing solar PV modules in ASEAN is related to the land usage policy. There is little or no incentive from the government for land acquisition for solar PV projects. He also agreed with Mr. Feungyot’s opinion on building solar floating in which does not require land permission to tap the full potential of the pond, as well as using PV rooftops as one of the solutions to land usage issues with very minimal cost.

Moving on, Mr. Arkorn asked Mr. Praptono and Mr. Watcharin about the progress of solar PV+ development in ecological and community management in Indonesia and Thailand. According to Mr. Praptono Adi Sulistomo, Policy analyst and Coordinator of RE Investment and Cooperation, in Indonesia, the struggle is now about providing equal energy to all residents since most of it is still concentrated on Java Island. Meanwhile, regarding solar PV development, starting in 2011, Indonesia’s government has built about 700 micro-hydro and solar PV power plants throughout remote areas in Indonesia. However, the challenge arises when handing it over to the local community to maintain and operate the system. In his opinion, this can be overcome by frequent trainings for local communities and technicians. To close his statement, he mentioned two successful projects on solar PV+ power plants in Bali and West Sumbawa, built-in post-landfill and post-mining areas with peak capacities of 1 MWp and 27 MWp, respectively. In Thailand, Mr. Watcharin said farmers are now accustomed to using solar pumps instead of diesel pumps in rural areas. However, they also encouter the same issue with Indonesia in terms of handover to the locals, making some pieces of equipment break. Thus, capacity building and knowledge sharing are critical for penetrating more solar PV technologies in the long run.

This session ended with an open question for the panellists to answer. It was about the kind of technology that should be focused on to successfully penetrate more solar PVs in the community. While other panellists emphasised the involvement of all energy stakeholders, providing policies, and giving regular training, Mr. Watcharin gave a different perspective. He mentioned that in making solar PV+ more reliable, energy storage technologies should also be given full thought. Mr Arkorn added that battery prices are currently high and take up significant portions of solar PV instalments. Thus, battery incentive is highly crucial to be considered in new policies.

Closing remark

As a closing remark, Mr. Septia Buntara Supendi, REE department manager of ACE, gave thankful notes to Mr. Huang Cheng, director of ACCF and Dr. Gu Hongbin, deputy director general of CREEI, for making the event succeed. He also mentioned a lot of appreciation for all speakers, panellists, and moderators for facilitating insightful information that carries meaningful prospects to the Solar PV+ uptake in ASEAN. He added that all ideas and conversations exchanged throughout the event do not solely contribute to the development of the project “Utilisation of Solar PV to Support the Green Economic Recovery in ASEAN Post Covid-19” but also to the achievement of regional targets under APAEC Phase II (2021 – 2025).


The recording of this event can be accessed on our YouTube channel here.

The material of this event can be accessed here.

Further links:

  1. Reportage and recordings of the event series
    1. Day 1 – Solar PV+ Potential as Green Recovery Strategy

Event reportage here.

Event recording here.

      2. Day 2 – Solar PV+ in Agriculture, Fishery, and Animal Husbandry

Event reportage here.

Event recording here.

      2. The 7th ASEAN Energy Outlook (AEO7)

Visit AEO7 publications here.

(FH / MM)


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