Regulatory Design for Disruptive Technologies in the Power Sector: Examples from the U.S. and Implications for Thailand

Published onApril 30, 2021

Driven by cost declines and growing consumer desire for control of their energy needs, the deployment of distributed energy resources (DER), such as distributed photovoltaics (DPV), behind-the-meter (BTM) battery energy storage systems (BESS), electric vehicles (EV) and other disruptive technologies, has accelerated in the power sector globally and in Asia. Policies and regulations that promote DER deployment are changing the way electricity is produced and consumed and opening up opportunities for new business models to propagate. To promote the growth of disruptive technologies, the adoption of appropriate policy and regulatory designs is essential to influence the pathway that will shape the market. A desirable pathway can enable new business opportunities for utilities and third parties, while ensuring grid safety, reliability, reasonable electricity prices, and fairness across stakeholders.  The continued growth of DER presents both opportunities and challenges to Thailand’s electricity sector. Thailand’s Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) intends to facilitate the growth of DER through well-designed regulations that are mindful of economic, equity, and technical implications for the electricity sector.

This report provides an overview of key regulatory designs that have fostered the deployment of DER in the U.S. and recommends policy and regulatory actions for the design of regulations to support disruptive technologies in Thailand. The scope of this report focuses on the deployment of three types of DER: DPV, BTM BESS, EV, and a new approach to electricity provision – peer-to-peer (P2P) electricity trading.  Recognizing that regulatory designs are highly affected by the broader electricity policy framework under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Energy of Thailand, this report also analyzes policy topics and acknowledges the ERC’s role as an active contributor to policy debates among key electricity stakeholders in Thailand.

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