Matthew Peloso is a highly-driven entrepreneur whose goal is to establish commercial solutions using technology for a better world.
1. Being named as one of the most innovative companies in 2016 by Fast Company, was surely a proud moment for you and Sun Electric. What is your advice for start-ups and entrepreneurs embarking in the solar industry business?
Be different, really different. Solve real problems. Bring industry problems close to you. Listen to your customers, and get ready for a marathon. Entrepreneurship isn’t a sprint.
2. Do you subscribe to a motto or philosophy in work/personal life?
This has changed a lot from when I started my entrepreneurship journey in 2012. I used to think that I could change the energy industry with innovation – and I was motivated a lot through the potential in knowing that I was doing the right thing, advancing and improving power for consumers and the future power sector. Through this period, I have come to learn that I can’t work through this on my own. I know now that it takes a group to work ahead on the advancement of the energy sector. It is up to us to see the benefits. Through this, I have learnt that we need to be objective and rational in the development of work and life.
3. You’ve been in the solar industry for several years now. Is there a significant achievement or milestone for you personally or for the company?
All around the world, the electricity sector has traditionally been heavily regulated. Despite the barriers to entry in a heavily regulated market, Sun Electric has made a lot of progress on its milestones. To date, we have sealed more than 32 MWp of solar projects in Singapore, allowing previously-underutilised roof spaces in Singapore to generate clean energy for their city. An increasing number of local businesses have taken up clean energy packages from Sun Electric which source their power from their own city’s rooftops. Companies big and small can now play their part for the environment and their city, while saving money off the electricity tariff and making money from their rooftops.
In addition, in June 2017, Sun Electric won the first SolarRoof contract from JTC, Singapore’s leading agency for industrial infrastructure. This 15-20 year contract will allow Sun Electric to install solar panels on the rooftops of 27 JTC buildings and export the solar energy for other users connected to them through the power grid, meaning we have succeeded in marking a new disruptive business model that is transforming the power market. Under existing solar leasing models, power generated primarily served only the building forcing rooftops out of utilisation. The new business model will allow Sun Electric to generate an additional 5 MWp of solar-generated electricity with JTC connecting users across cities. To solve that problem, instead of buildings, we think cities – and that is making all the difference.
4. If you were not doing what you’re currently doing now in the solar industry, what other career option do you think you might have pursued?
Before I set up Sun Electric, I was starting to explore career options in the legal industry and would have been involved in patent law and innovation inside a technology business. I had been a consultant for entrepreneurs, helping them look at ways to register intangible assets or develop them. I was also out in the solar industry looking for work in technology development. Luckily for me, no one made me an offer and I got to become an entrepreneur with the potential to transform the energy sector.
5. The energy industry is in transition at the moment. From the use of hydrocarbons to cleaner renewable energy options. What are your thoughts about when the demand for oil and gas will peak? 2025, 2030, 2035, 2040?
It is notoriously difficult to predict the demand for oil and gas. However, what is driving volumes in the renewable sector is a mix of continued support with the implementation of larger scale installations and price reduction. Outside of the transport sector, oil may already see its peak while gas and renewables come into the mix. However, the demand for gas would not disappear right away. Realistically, renewables cannot cover 100% of what you need unless there are dramatic improvements in storage capacity, so we work towards creating an achievable goal. We believe that most cities (in particular, densely populated cities) can generate about 10% of their power needs from their own rooftops and we are enabling this realistic target through the SolarSpaceTM platform for smart cities. We think setting something achievable is important for our world to look seriously at the renewable power industry to provide the largest benefits to electricity consumers.
6. As Sun Electric expands its presence globally (USA, Australia, Japan, and the Philippines), you will be planning to increase your workforce. What type of skills or characteristics are you looking for in a team member?
Given the heavily regulated nature of the power sector, it requires people with the discipline and patience to navigate through the dense thicket of regulations and the inertia of the sector. At the same time, we require creative individuals with the foresight to see through a new era of energy and to continue innovating. It is a tough mix to balance both skillsets required.
7. Can you tell us the biggest challenges Sun Electric has faced so far, and how did you overcome them?
Given that the energy/utilities sector has always been tightly regulated and that consumers are used dealing with the incumbents, the challenge we face is to give consumers the impetus to switch from their legacy power providers, and to challenge their conceptions around access to clean energy.
8. As Singapore is space constrained, do you see an emerging demand and market for offshore solar farms developing here?
There is some potential demand, which is essentially facilitated by the government. However, the focus on rooftops is still quite important as there are still so many under-utilised rooftops! I believe expertise developed here is much more important in terms of the evolution of the power sector than in offshore solar farms and focusing on rooftop solar provides our firm with capabilities which are significantly scalable and less expensive. Future cities will incorporate energy generating infrastructure within their own architecture. We don’t need to go far from the city to get power from our environment. It is right here already.
9. Other than in Singapore, where else do you think in Asia, has seen significant growth in the solar industry?
Apart from solar energy, Asia has access to multiple renewable energy options including wind, geothermal and hydro. Asia is also home to many densely-populated cities (e.g. Jakarta, Manilla, Bangkok) where demand for energy is high, putting a strain on the nation’s grid and creating the need for a renewable source of energy. However due to space constraints and lack of infrastructure, not all renewable energy sources are feasible.
Solar energy, we believe, remains the most viable renewable energy option for cities across Asia. Our business model has the potential to overcome the challenges faced by densely populated cities, such as space constraints and addresses limitations of intermittent power supply, as the solar-generated power is fully integrated with the grid. We believe that Sun Electric will facilitate the widespread adoption of solar energy, not only in Singapore but in these densely-populated cities across Asia.
10. Where do you see the industry in the next 10-20 years?
We expect major advancements in energy storage capacity (battery) to happen in the next 3-5 years. Tesla recently constructed one of the world’s biggest battery, the size of an American football field, in South Australia to address the country’s energy woes. If the technology proves to be sustainable, this would ease the problem of intermittency - solar will be able to serve not only as a peaking power resource but also be a source of base load power which is currently incapable of doing so. This will potentially change the future of energy globally. Improvements in data connectivity will be a big impetus for new energy technologies. The potential of this will be further enhanced when regulators open up the information systems architecture that traditional utilities companies have access to, to newer and more innovative companies in the power sector.
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Many of Indonesia’s oil and gas fields, both on and offshore, are coming to the end of their commercially viable operational lifespan. More than 60% of Indonesia’s oil and more than 30% of gas production comes from late-life-cycle resources spread across the world's largest island country. Despite investment and use of enhanced oil field recovery measures, as well as increasing automation to extend the economic lifespan of these assets, decommissioning will soon become necessary.
However Indonesia, like many countries new to the prospect of decommissioning energy infrastructure, face many key technological, fiscal, environmental, regulatory and industrial capacity issues, which need to be addressed by both government and industry decision makers.
This report, commissioned by the consulting and advisory arm of London and Aberdeen based Precision Media & Communications aims to takes a look at many of the issues Indonesia and other South East Asian oil producing nations are likely to face with the prospect of decommissioning the region's oil and gas aging energy infrastructure both onshore and offshore... To find out more Click here
Headline crude prices for the week beginning 2 December 2019 – Brent: US$61/b; WTI: US$55/b
Headlines of the week
The Global Small-Scale LNG Market is projected to grow from 30.8 MTPA in 2016 to 48.3 MTPA by 2022, at a CAGR of 6.7% between 2017 and 2022. The small-scale LNG market across the globe is driven by their increasing LNG demand from remote locations by applications, such as industrial & power, and the ability to transport LNG over long distances without the need for heavy investment such as pipelines. By terminal type, regasification terminal is expected to grow at a highest CAGR between 2017 and 2022. The increasing demand for LNG from the remote locations and global commoditization of LNG are some of the major factors that are driving the demand for small-scale LNG in this segment.
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The Linde Group (Germany), Wärtsilä (Finland), Honeywell International Inc. (U.S.), General Electric (U.S.), and Engie (France), among others are the leading companies operating in the small-scale LNG market. These companies are expected to account for significant shares of the small-scale LNG market in the near future.
Critical questions the report answers:
Growth Drivers are :
Energy cost advantage of LNG over alternate energy sources for end-users
Heavy duty transport companies save approximately 30% on fuel costs on LNG-fueled trucks, compared to diesel fueled trucks, and produce 30% lower emissions. Air pollution from diesel engines is one of the biggest concerns, especially in areas that struggle to meet air-quality standards. On the other hand, natural gas causes complete combustion and fewer emissions than diesel. It is estimated that increasing environmental concerns from the utilization of diesel vehicles is likely to increase the adoption of green fuel technologies such as natural gas. In the case of electric power generation, natural gas engines below 150 KW are more cost effective than oil fueled engines. Fuel cost is one of the major cost for road transportation, which is strongly subject to excise taxation. Typically, an LNG-fueled Volvo FM truck can travel up to 600 km with LNG. With an additional 150 litres of diesel, it can travel up to 1,000 km without refuelling. Thus, reducing the cost of travel. With additional LNG liquefaction capacity expected to come online in the next few years, an oversupply of LNG is expected, which will drive the price of LNG further lower. Considering all these factors, both developed and developing countries are undertaking feasibility studies to recognize the techno-economics of shifting their economies from diesel to natural gas. Therefore, the cheap price of small-scla LNG over others alterantive fuels will drive the growth during the forecast period.
Small-scale LNG terminals are regarded as facilities, including liquefaction and regasification terminals, with a capacity of less than 1 million tons per annum (MTPA) within the scope of this study. It includes the LNG produced from small-scale liquefaction terminals and regasified at small-scale regasification terminals for catering to applications such as LNG-fueled heavy-duty transport, LNG-fueled ships, and industrial & power generation.
North America small-scale LNG market is projected to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period.
The North America small-scale LNG market is projected to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period. In North America, most of the small-scale LNG demand in industrial & power applications is met through peak shaving facilities. The peak shaving facilities are used to meet adequate supply of LNG to address the peak demand. In 2015, there were more than 100 peak shaving facilities in the U.S., among which one-half of the peak shaving facilities were located in the Northeast, while a quarter of them were located in the Midwest. Currently, the U.S. has among the highest number of peak shaving plants. However, less than 10% of them are available for any other use due to the current electricity demand. The commissioning of small-scale liquefaction plants can expand the peak shaving capacities in the region.
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