Ehson Shirazi was invited to prepare a paper for, and present at, the Renewable Energy World Asia 2016 conference in Seoul earlier this year. His paper explores the opportunities created by solar PV and batteries, and specifically how these technologies broaden the policy options available to South East Asian governments for the removal of long standing fuel and electricity subsidies, and hence the transition to a more cost effective and efficient power system.
Ehson showed that if South East Asian governments invested the money that would otherwise be used to fund future electricity subsidies towards the cost of installing renewable generation for customers that would have benefited from those subsidies, then this will reduce the customers’ reliance on thermal generation, and so negate any increase in electricity bills that would occur if the subsidy was not provided. This would then allow the subsidies to be removed far quicker than traditional subsidy rationalisation programmes, with little or no impact on customers. His analysis is supported by an empirical case study from Malaysia.