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1999-2000 APEC Energy R&D and Technology Transfer Seminar

Surmounting the Barriers to Renewable Energy Technology Introduction: Focus on Photovoltaic and Biomass Technologies
October 20-22, 1999 Bangkok, Thailand

Meeting Notes of Wednesday, October 20


Keynote SpeechDr. Piyasvasti Amranand, Secretary General, National Energy Policy Council, Thailand

Dr. Piyasvasti Amranand delivered the keynote speech in which he emphasized Thailands Energy Conservation Program and its relationship to his economys efforts in surmounting barriers to technology introduction. He also stressed the necessity for

greater collaboration among APEC economies, thereby leading to a wider utilization of renewable energy in the region.

Session 1Macro Analysis

Ms. Gill WilkinsBarriers Asian Economies are Facing in New and Renewable Energy Technology Promotion Activities

Ms. Gill Wilkins opened by outlining the history of technology transfer and how its patterns have changed over the past few decades, which she followed by mentioning frequently cited generic barriers. She then explained that the five foremost barriers faced today in renewable energy technology transfer are: national policies and programs; information exchange, education, and training; intellectual property rights (IPR) and standards; financing; and miscellaneous. These barriers were further analyzed as she looked into the various factors at the core of each. Ms. Wilkins concluded her

presentation by illustrating measures (specifically: incentives, rewards, government and

institutional policies, supportive infrastructure, and confidence-building measures) identified as effective methods in overcoming the barriers associated with technology transfer.

A question and answer session followed.

Session 2Barriers to Renewable Energy Technology Introduction

Mr. Wang YihuiDevelopment and Technology Introduction of New & Renewable Energy in China

Mr. Wang listed the barriers existing in his economy as: unawareness of strategic significance; too many ministries involved without integration; the lack of information and technology from other economies; national energy pricing/non-pricing policies; and the prohibitively expensive importation of technology. In regards to solutions, he

mentioned the following possibilities: increasing the availability of capital; integrating the administration of Chinas renewable energy policy under the State Development Planning Commission; strengthening technology exchange, introduction and technical cooperation; forging new policies; and accepting loans/grants from abroad.

Prof. Dr. Kamaruddin AbdullahBiomass Energy R&D and its Application in Indonesia

Prof. Dr. Kamaruddin Abdullah began by reviewing biomass energy R&D, its utilization for household energy supply, for medium- and small-scale industries, and for power

generation. He stressed that duplication of efforts had occurred because a unified and integrated national renewable energy program had not previously been established. The newly founded Integrated Regional Economic Development Program (IRED), however, provides incentives and opportunities and is the best prospect for the development of renewables in Indonesia. Moreover, the central government has a program to provide financial rewards to those who patent products that increase the utilization of new and renewable energy sources.

Mr. Chang-Hoo LeeDissemination Status of Photovoltaic Systems and Market Barriers in Korea

Mr. Lee started by reexamining the governments PV Project and its R&D status, government policies, dissemination status, the barriers faced and market prospects. He summarized the major barriers to PV expansion as high cost, technical factors, and the publics lack of understanding of the need for expanding PV. He further stated that the national demonstration project and local energy programs would be subsequently enhanced in order to promote public awareness.

Mr. Weerapan Kiatpakdee of the National Biogas Dissemination Program for Mediumand Large-Scale Livestock Farms in Thailand

Mr. Weerapan Kiatpakdee explained how hog feces could be converted into biogas through environmentally friendly Applied Anaerobic Technology that produces both renewable energy and fertilizer. The project expects to provide the equivalent of 70,000 kg of LPG/day along with 210 tons/day of fertilizer. Barriers to be expected are

fluctuations in the prices of pigs according to market demand and a lack of technicians in the field of anaerobic technology. The solutions he suggested included government support through grants, soft loans (low interest) and very soft loans (interest-free).

A question and answer session followed.

Session 3Barriers to Renewable Energy Technology Introduction (continued)

Dr. Dan J. GoldbergerOvercoming Barriers to Renewable Energy in Canada

Dr. Goldberger began his presentation by contrasting the terms renewable and green power. He went on to describe the successful development of three renewable energy projects in three distinct sectors of societynamely, municipal government, federal government, and utility-sponsored efforts. He ended by reporting that governments, through tax incentives and financial incentives, ought to further contribute to the promotion of renewable energy technologies thereby realizing substantial reductions in greenhouse gases (GHG).

Mr. Khairulnizam RomliBarriers to Energy Generation from Biomass Resources in Malaysia

Mr. Khairulnizam Romli started by introducing Malaysias Five Fuel Diversification Strategy pointing out that biomass is the focus of the renewable energy resources program. The results of a recent survey on biomass technology implementation were presented with the major barriers being: lack of information, awareness, and education; technical barriers; economic barriers; and policies and lack thereof. Recent government initiatives to overcome such barriers have included the establishment of the Malaysia Energy Centre in May 1998, and the creation of the Green Energy Revolving Fund, which provides low-interest loans.

Mr. Fortunato S. SibayanBarriers to Biomass Energy Technology Dissemination in the Philippines

Mr. Sibayan began by mentioning the Philippines dependence on imported oil and how the government has implemented several programs to develop the economys indigenous resources. He continued by listing the major barriers still faced in his economy as: a poor perception of biomass energy resources; lack of, or insufficient technological awareness; lack of, or insufficient technological support; the poor financial performance of renewable resources; and policy-inherent constraints.

A question and answer session followed.

Meeting Notes of Thursday, October 21

Session 4Analysis of Economic and Social Barriers

Mr. Shek-Chung GauBarriers to PV Technology Introduction

Mr. Gau opened by stressing the importance of pursuing alternative energies to replace conventional energies, specifically underscoring the potential of photovoltaics. He

continued by detailing the barriers preventing the widespread usage of PV and possible solutions to such barriers. The five major barriers stated were: price competitiveness with conventional fuels; a lack of public awareness; the absence of net metering; the majority of the electricity-deprived cannot afford PV; and the unreliability of components of many PV systems. In order to overcome the barriers above, he suggested that the central government could do more in assisting renewables in becoming more competitive.

Mr. Hayao AdachiAnalysis of Economic and Social Barriers

Mr. Adachi began by relating two technical cooperation projects of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) pertaining to rural electrification. He

emphasized that financial barriers are often more resolute than technical barriers. Development studies devoted to overcome the barriers faced, he asserted, must include the four following constituents: comprehensive planning; base case setting; questionnaire surveys; and most significantly, governmental policies related to the distribution of the financial burden of electrification projects.

Dr. Pongpisit ViseshakulNew and Renewable Energy Technologies in Thailand

Dr. Pongpisit presented much the same information that he had during the Expert Group Meeting on Monday. He introduced the Energy Conservation Promotion Act of 1992 which supports energy efficiency efforts and renewable energy programs. He insisted that any barriers faced could be overcome, and provided specific examples of energyconserving technologies which have been, and will be, deployed including: biogas for power generation in livestock farms; energy conservation in tobacco curing; energyefficient cooking stoves, energy-efficient crematoriums; the utilization of biogas originating in landfills, and so on.

Dr. David S. RenneConcepts for Effective Deployments of Renewable Energy Technologies in Rural Areas

Dr. Renne started by illustrating the many economic and societal disadvantages as a result of the lack of basic electrical service. He suggested that the barriers faced fall into four categories, with policy issues remaining the most tenacious. He concluded his

presentation by maintaining the importance of simultaneously tackling policy, economic, social, and technical infrastructure barriers.

A question and answer session followed.

Panel Discussion

Mr. Adachi hosted an animated, intriguing, and enlightening discussion.

Following is the three-part question asked of all panelists along with their respective responses: What in your opinion was the most critical finding during this seminar, what is the most significant barrier globally to the introduction of new and renewable energy technologies, and what do you propose to be the most effective strategy to overcome this barrier?

United KingdomMs. Gill Wilkins 1. 2. 3. Barriers are interlinked Lack of coordinated policy and planning; lack of credit Appoint one organization in each economy to carry out better evaluation including externalities and life cycle assessments (LCA)

CanadaDr. Dan J. Goldenberger 1. 2. 3. (No response) Market access RESCOs, better access to the market, energy policies with a certain percentage attributable to new and renewables

ChinaMr. Wang Yihui 7

1. 2. 3.

(No response) He mentioned five barriers, stressing Price Supports, subsidies, and incentives

IndonesiaProf. Dr. Kamaruddin Abdullah 1. 2. 3. Subsidies/incentives are unconditionally necessary Funding mechanisms, specifically ways of persuading the private sector to invest A comprehensive, integrated agency in each economy with regional and local committees staffed by experts from industry and academia

KoreaMr. Chang-Hoo Lee 1. 2. 3. APEC economies are making serious efforts (No response) Social consensus will lead to awareness, international cooperation

MalaysiaMr. Khairulnizam Romli 1. 2. 3. (No response) Mentioning several, he stressed economic viability A commitment from the political, private, and public sectors

PhilippinesMr. Fortunato S. Sibayan 1. 2. 3. All barriers are surmountable Policies and the lack thereof Coordinated government policies

Chinese TaipeiMr. Shek-Chung Gau 1. 2. 3. (No response) Price Mass production

ThailandMr. Weerapan Kiatpakdee 1. 2. 3. (No response-did not attend the entire seminar) (No response) Cooperation among government, technologists, consumers

United StatesDr. David S. Renne 1. The large agreement among most speakers, especially regarding the role of demonstration projects Governments political will in developing the market Alliances between the government and private sector in order to level the playing field

2. 3.

JapanMr. Masahiro Miyazaki 1. 2. 3. (No response) (No response) International cooperation

Mr. Adachi thanked the panelists for their responses, which he then summarized by noting that nearly all the panelists had mentioned financial barriers and the need to encourage more involvement from the private sector. Consumers and governments must both shoulder the burden of deploying technology, he said, and expressed the view that donor (developed) economies have a crucial role in bringing about the widespread utilization of new and renewable energies. The majority of comments from the audience centered around two themes, namely, financial barriers, in agreement with the panelists, and the importance of technical training. Several in the audience voiced their concerns about cost comparisons and both the audience and the panelists agreed that green accounting is of utmost importance in gauging the long-term benefits of new and renewable energies. Another topic of major concern was the speed at which technology was transferred from the donor economies to the recipient economies. The panelists concurred that the procedures for technology transfer under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change do not go far enough. Many in the audience thanked the organizers and speakers for providing a forum for faceto-face discussion. The following are other significant conclusions that could be drawn from the interactions among the audience and the panelists: There is a large market potential for new and renewable energy in the region, as many villages remain unelectrified. Appropriate financial mechanisms must be developed to mitigate the risks of project investment by the public sector. The training of technicians and education of the end-users must be increased. It is important that project developers, investors, and donor economies have ready access to accurate information. Continuous development of new and renewable energy technologies must be conducted with the results promptly disseminated among APEC members.

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Mr. Adachi wrapped up the Panel Discussion by applauding the audience for their strong interest and active participation in the two-day seminar.

Technical Tour Notes of Friday, October 22

Following the two-day seminar, a technical tour was conducted with assistance provided by the Biogas Advisory Unit of Chiang Mai University and the Solar Energy Research and Training Center of Naresuan University. Two biomass utilization sites and a solar pumping station were inspected.

Boonmee Farm #1Pak Thor District, Ratchaburi Province


Designed by the Biogas Advisory Unit and subsidized by NEPO, this demonstration project is home to 12,000 hogs, which produce 16,000 kg of manure/day. The 1000 m3 of biogas resulting daily fuel the modified internal combustion engines which in turn generate the electricity for the machinery used to supply feed to the hogs and pump water to flush the manure from the sties into the collector tanks.

Huai Sai Royal Development Study CentrePetchaburi Province


The Solar Energy Research and Training Center (SERT) of Naresuan University is responsible for the operation of this site. Four 600-watt systems are each capable of pumping 20 m3 of water daily for the irrigation of plots of varying plants and crops.

Small-Scale Biogas Promotion ProgramPotaram District, Ratchaburi Province


Most of the 30 m3 of biogas produced from 200-250 head of swine is utilized by the farmer for gas cook stoves, lanterns, and the like. The biogas produced monthly is the equivalent of eighteen, 15-kg tanks of LPG.

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