Understanding the Impact of Distributed Photovoltaic Adoption on Utility Revenues and Retail Electricity Tariffs in Thailand

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As the costs of solar photovoltaic technology continue to decline, the production of electricity from distributed solar photovoltaics (DPV) systems has become an increasingly attractive option for consumers in many countries.

While the global DPV market is growing quite quickly, creating new jobs and accruing significant environmental benefits, it is at the same time posing some new challenges. One of the most common concerns cited by retail electricity distributors is the impact that DPV may have on their revenue, and, perhaps more existentially, on their business model. How will utilities continue to recover costs and serve ratepayers if segments of their customer base are increasingly shifting towards producing their own electricity? What will happen to retail electricity tariffs for the remaining ratepayers?

Against the backdrop of consumers’ increasing interest in DPV in Thailand, as well as a DPV policy to be launched by the Thai government in late 2017, this study looks to quantify the impact of 3,000 MW of DPV deployment in the year 2020 on (a) Thai distribution utilities’ revenue in the short-term (i.e., before the next rate case), and (b) retail electricity tariffs in the medium-term (i.e., after the next rate case). 

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