The University of Phayao, the first institution in ASEAN to adopt a smart grid in its actual power generation and use on campus, is now the first to offer its study as a degree program.
Associate Professor Dr. Wattanapong Rakwichian, dean of the School of Energy and Environment, or SEEN, at the University of Phayao, said Smart Grid technology is substantially developing, gaining attention and becoming more crucial to the future.
What is smart grid technology? It is the integration of ICT to power distribution systems in order to manage power distribution of both centralized or distributed grids. Smart grids are the most essential feature to organize power distribution from renewable sources. Smart grid systems will help optimize power generation by communicating between consumer demands and electricity generators.
At University of Phayao, electricity is generated on campus from solar cells and managed via the smart grid system that results in substantial cost savings. School of Energy and Environment offers graduate degrees in Energy Management and Smart Grid Technology at both the master’s and doctoral levels. It’s the only such programs available in ASEAN.
The school has researched the use of Smart Micro Grid and aims to be a demonstration site for smart grid implementation, through a research grant from the Department of Alternative Energy Development and Efficiency at the Ministry of Energy. The smart micro grid system will be applied as pilot projects in the Philippines and Laos under international cooperation, with SEEN playing a leading role. Moreover, there is a high potential to expand smart grid technologies into the business sector in Thailand in the near future.
Dr. Wattanapong mentioned that the private sector is now interested to investing in smart grid networks which make for “higher demand in person with smart grid knowledge.” Graduate students that have already joined the Smart Grid program are among the top level in ASEAN. ASEAN Centre for Energy acknowledged and supported initiatives from ASEAN Smart Grid Congress to promote smart grid in the region. AEC also offered more supports and helps to conduct next congress.
University of Phayao hosted the first ASEAN Smart Grid Congress, where international experts from 13 countries came together and presented their experiences in research, policy and smart grid applications. ASEAN Smart Grid Congress events will be held annually in ASEAN countries. The upcoming ASEAN Smart Grid Congress will be hosted by Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia and Philippines from 2016 through 2019, respectively.
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