A significant amount of current scientific research at universities globally is now focused on the field of alternative energy; ranging from semiconductor physics for solar photovoltaics, to bioengineering of locust stomach bacteria for cellulosic biofuels.
Each of these technologies could be the subject of an evening’s debate, but an equally interesting question is how the current and expected future technologies can feasibly be combined to displace fossil fuels from the energy mix.
How much wind, solar, biomass, geothermal, hydropower etc are feasible? The answer will clearly vary by location, and with the ongoing development path of each technology. Principles of how to combine different types of power generation source are common across diverse regions, however.
Each power generation, transportation fuel and energy storage technology is likely to face resource limitations, and a variety will need to be used in combination to significantly displace conventional energy from the grid.
Constraints in grid stability (whether the main grid, or small scale isolated grids) from the intermittent power generation of wind and solar is one central challenge, where newly developing energy storage technologies will play a role.
The talk will outline a range of key technologies and issues, based on Phil Napier-Moore’s experience as an engineer working on a range of these project types, and open the floor to how the power generation mix will look in the future, in Thailand or elsewhere.
Phil Napier-Moore leads Mott MacDonald’s technical consulting work in renewable power generation for South-East Asia. He has managed and directed projects for a range of multilateral agencies, national governments and a large number of private companies, working internationally on low-carbon power projects in 20 countries around the world, in particular within Asia and Europe. He is a Chartered Energy Engineer and obtained his first class Masters of Engineering degree from Oxford University.