With ample capacity and ambitious targets for growth, Thailand is seeking to establish itself as one of the leaders in Southeast Asia in the development of renewable energy sources. In an effort to reduce its current dependence on imported oil, the nation is moving rapidly to build up its solar, wind and biomass generation capability. To support this burgeoning market, GL Garrad Hassan recently opened its first office in the Kingdom, providing its clients with a local point of contact for its renewable energy consultancy services.
Dr Andrew Garrad, President of GL Garrad Hassan, commenting on the opening of the new office said: “We have a proud history of helping the renewable energy industry to grow and prosper around the world. An important part of our service is to combine local knowledge with our international experience. Today, we take a further step in broadening our reach to Southeast Asia by opening our new Bangkok office. We look forward to having continuing discussions with the stakeholders in the wind and solar energy markets in Thailand, and also in other countries in the region, to see how we can support them in their endeavours.”
GL Garrad Hassan has been providing its services to the renewable energy industry in Thailand for a number of years from its Australian offices. The new Bangkok office will enable clients to tap directly into the company’s global network of experts and utilise its extensive suite of services.
Daniel Astbury, GL Garrad Hassan Senior Engineer, will manage the Bangkok office. Previously based in Melbourne, Mr Astbury was responsible for GL Garrad Hassan’s service delivery in a number of Southeast Asian countries. A mechanical engineer, he has studied in Denmark and Portugal and worked on many large renewable energy projects in the Asia-Pacific region.
A number of projects have already benefited from the company’s services in achieving successful financing and implementation and GL Garrad Hassan has undertaken a wide variety of activities for Thai clients, including: conducting wind mapping and site identification studies of various Thai provinces to assist clients find and evaluate potential sites; offering project development assistance such as turbine selection, layout development and environmental assessments; performing due diligence of proposed projects for potential investors; mast installation and data recovery via online data management; and acting as owner’s and bank’s engineer.
One of the first countries in Asia to introduce an incentive mechanism for renewables, Thailand’s new Alternative Energy Development Plan (2012-2021) calls for the Kingdom to generate 25 percent of its energy consumption through renewable sources within the next ten years. In 2011, renewable electricity generation grew by some 12 to 14 percent.
Solar generation has been a strong focus of development in the country, with 1GW of installed solar capacity targeted for 2020. Biomass generation is already well established and state incentives for wind power have been introduced in an effort to meet a goal of 1,200MW installed by 2012.
The recent announcement by the Provincial Electricity Authority (PEA) of plans for the development of a comprehensive nationwide “smart grid” system, which would integrate renewable energy sources, within the next 15 years, is a further example of Thailand’s commitment to the successful development of its renewable resources.
GL Garrad Hassan has a total of eleven offices in the Asia-Pacific region (Bangkok, Singapore, Beijing, Shanghai, Seoul, Tokyo, Mumbai, Bangalore, Melbourne, Newcastle and Wellington.) Additionally, GL Garrad Hassan has affiliate offices (GL Noble Denton) in the region in Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Manila, and Ho Chi Minh City.