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Disrupt or be Disrupted: New Energy Trends and Technologies Showcased at CEPSI 2016

November 10, 2016
Speaking ahead of his keynote presentation at the 2016 Conference of the Electric Supply Industry (CEPSI) in Bangkok in October, Jack Wen, president, Asia Pacific GE Energy Connections said:

“For many people, the power industry appears stable on the surface. However, a lot of changes have happened in the past five years - new technologies, especially digital technology, have come on stream; more renewable energy is coming online; and customers are also demanding empowerment. This will impact all players in the industry.”

Jack’s observation, and view, was shared by other industry experts over the four days of CEPSI 2016 which ran from October 23 – 26.  CEPSI is recognized as one of the leading sector “think tank” summits in the region attracting 1,500 participants, from more the 40 countries, this year.


GE Thailand CEO & President, Kovit Kantapasara (center) hosted Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister, Air Chief Marshal Prajin Juntong (left), along with other senior Ministry of Energy officials at the GE booth.

Mega Trends and Smart Solutions

Asia Pacific (AP) is one of the most dynamic energy regions in the world with demand projected to double by 2030, and more than five trillion dollars tipped to be invested to support new power generation over the next 25 years.

Many opportunities, and challenges, faced by AP energy players were discussed during CEPSI 2016. Topics ranged from mega-trends covering urbanization, climate change, population growth, and rising demand for energy, to industry-focused issues such as new business models for utility providers, digital-industrial offerings like digital grid, substation, and virtual power plant innovations, as well as advances in smart meters, storage batteries, grid developments (micro grids, global super grids), and more.

Prosumers, Set & Forget, & Energy Diverse Customers

Greg Guthridge, managing director, Asia Pacific Utilities, Accenture also spoke about empowered energy customers of the future and new consumer categories including “Prosumers” interested in solar and battery storage options, “Set and Forget” customers who will pay a premium for automated solutions, and “Energy Diverse” consumers who want a bundle of energy products and services.

Sharing Insights

Given GE’s long history of developing energy projects throughout the region, experts from the company’s Energy Connections, Power Services, and Power businesses participated in keynote presentations, panel discussions, and technical sessions.

They shared GE’s digital industrial innovations to modernize the grid, as well as advances in intelligent digital substations, new technologies to produce smarter, cleaner steam power, and more.

GE’s Head of Performance Calculation and Testing Department, Steam Power Systems, Dr Olivier Le Galudec said his “Power Plant Digital Twin” presentation generated a lot of questions.

“While some in the audience were familiar with the power plant digital twin concept, those from traditional mechanical, electrical industry backgrounds were very interested in learning about how we created digital models of physical power plants - the question and answer session could have gone on for 30 to 40 more minutes.”

He said the enthusiasm of the audience, and feedback from executives met, reinforced his view that Asia Pacific is one of the most exciting energy markets in the world.

“Asia is where we must be – there are many big businesses run by managers with a strong entrepreneurial spirit. As well, the nations are in varying levels of development and with our full range of solutions, and experience, GE is well-set to help energy players in the region achieve their goals.”

This view was shared by Jack Wen.

“From the grid management perspective, Asia Pacific and ASEAN is one of the most diverse regions in the world offering opportunities in highly-developed, mature, and fast emerging nations.”

“For example, you have Myanmar where rural electrification programs are vitally important because only 30 percent of the population has access to electricity, while at the other end of the scale, you have Singapore, a digitized country eyeing advanced platforms such as the digital substation, and new ways to get added value from current energy assets.”

Other GE speakers highlighted GE’s cyber security innovations for the industrial internet as well as the full scope of gas power plant solutions from mobile power plants to complete turnkey offerings.

GE solutions were also showcased interactively at an exhibition booth highlighting GE expertise in Steam Power Services, Gas Services and Grid Connections.


The award for “Best Paper”  of the conference was presented to GE scientist, Douglas Wilson (right) by Kornrasit Pakchotanon, the Governor of the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand. 

GE wins “Best Paper” Accolade

GE research was also recognized, and honored, when Douglas Wilson, Chief Scientist, WAMS, GE Energy Connection received the CEPSI “Best Paper” accolade at the closing ceremony. The paper, written with co-authors in GE, SP Energy Networks, National Grid and academic partners in the UK, describes innovative wide area monitoring and control solutions for managing grid stability.

GE’s recent advances in synchrophasor-based solutions for the grid in Great Britain, address oscillations, disturbances, and fast response wide area defense measures, as renewable generation increases. Conference reports from ASEAN described similar challenges that could be met by GE’s wide area monitoring and control platforms – given this, the exchange of experience at CEPSI is a good “first step” to approach ASEAN utilities facing the same issues.