Peer-to-peer solar energy trading coming soon to Bangkok from BCPG
Bundit Sapianchai, President of BCPG Public Company, explains the smart green energy community that will launch in the first half of 2018
BCPG Public Company started life as the green power business unit of Thailand’s Bangchak Corporation. In September 2016, president Bundit Sapianchai led the company to a successful IPO on the Stock Exchange of Thailand. Today the business has investments in solar, wind and geothermal production, with a goal of operating 1,000 MW of renewable energy by 2020. Bundit Sapianchai explains the company’s current assets for wholesale production – and its strategy to pivot into retail. BCPG is creating a smart green energy community of pro-sumers: households with solar panels, generating and trading their own energy, peer-to-peer.
Mrassociates: BCPG Public Company started life as the green power business unit of Thailand’s Bangchak Corporation. In September 2016, president Bundit Sapianchai led the company to a successful IPO on the Stock Exchange of Thailand. Today the business has investments in solar, wind and geothermal production, with a goal of operating 1,000 MW of renewable energy by 2020. Bundit Sapianchai joins me now.
Talk me through your current assets.
Bundit Sapianchai: BCPG is running green power plants throughout the region. Actually it’s four countries. In the Thai market we have 200 MW of solar in operation. We have 200 MW partfully owned in Japan. We also have wind energy in the Philippines, and another 180 MW in geothermal in Indonesia.
So what we have now is a mix of technologies. But if you calculate everything in solar equivalent it’s already 1,000 MW. So we’ve achieved our target beforehand.
Mrassociates: You’ve had a very successful year since you listed; managed to double your market capitalisation. What’s the next stage of growth for BCPG?
Bundit Sapianchai: Our business model is wholesale. We produce green energy, and then we sell to the grid company, the transmission line. But we would like to move from wholesale to retail.
The whole industry is shifting from a conventional way to a smarter way. It’s shifting from centralised to distributed; consume only to pro-sumer, where people can produce and trade their own energy, peer-to-peer.
Meanwhile, our baseload of wholesale still has to be expanded as well. So it’s a mix between wholesale and retail.
Mrassociates: And to that end you’ve partnered with one of Thailand’s largest real estate developers to create a smart green energy community; tell me more.
Bundit Sapianchai: Our plan is to build our very first peer-to-peer energy trading community. That community, they have housing, they have condominiums, they have a school, they have a hospital, they have a mini-mall. So we will put solar on every roof in the community. And once the system is producing energy, we’ll put our energy trading platform – we call it the internet of energy – where every person can trade their energy directly, without any middle man anymore. Using a blockchain technology.
We started doing the engineering already. The software is in place, it’s ready. The whole system will be up within another four to six months in Bangkok. This will be the first one in Thailand, or even in south-east Asia.
What’s quite exciting about this is, we can show to the country that you have a choice to save on your bill, you have a choice to increase your revenue by selling your surplus energy. It’s a new energy economy, so people like us will have a better energy life.
Mrassociates: And what other strategies, technologies and countries are you exploring?
Bundit Sapianchai: So, the wholesale business model: we’re looking for M&A opportunities throughout south-east Asia. We’re open for any opportunities.
Retail is all about knowing your customer, so we’ll try to focus in Thailand first. And, who knows? Because the platform is a global solution.
Mrassociates: And how are you maintaining good corporate governance as you grow?
Bundit Sapianchai: For me, good governance is all about performance and trust. You have to perform well with a good strategy and implementation. You have to make sure that you’re running your business in a good way, in a transparent way. You disclose all the information. So, if you can trust and you perform well, you have good strategy and implementation plan. I think that we are in good shape in managing the company in good governance.
Mrassociates: Bundit, thank you very much.
Bundit Sapianchai: Thank you.