Chakrit Chaiyawuttaparuk, electrical engineer from Thailand
Thailand is focusing increasingly on renewable energies as a way of cutting its greenhouse gas emissions. It plans to provide 40 per cent of its electricity mix from renewable sources by 2036. State energy utility Provincial Electricity Authority is preparing itself and its employees for the energy transition. It has selected eight engineers and managers to participate in a publicly accessible and demand-oriented Advanced Training Programme of the Academy for International Cooperation (AIZ) of the GIZ, one of whom is Chakrit Chaiyawuttaparuk.
What kind of training programme is it that you’re participating in?
It’s a six-month course on renewable energy, energy efficiency and smart electricity grids based on the German model. I and seven colleagues from my company took an aptitude test to qualify for the programme. My employer wants to get up to speed on the latest technological developments and gain an insight into the German energy industry.
What is the training programme structure?
The programme provides us with an overview of the German energy transition, along with management and practical expertise. We underwent preparation in Thailand for our assignment, as part of which we completed an English-language course. In Germany, we received training in intercultural skills, followed by instruction in management and technical skills. We also went on excursions to photovoltaic, wind-power and biomass facilities. A large and key component of the programme is the four-month placement with a German company, where we had the opportunity to work and engage in dialogue with energy experts, develop networks, contribute our expertise in a practical German context and get to know the German energy market better.
Which company did you complete your placement with?
GIZ placed me with Projektgewinner GmbH, an engineering firm in Cologne specialising in implementing energy projects with civic involvement. As a qualified electrical engineer, I primarily assisted with the simulation of roof-mounted photovoltaic systems. I learned how to use a specific piece of software and was also involved in installing one of the systems.
You will be heading back to Thailand this week. What will you take away with you from your time in Germany?
I’ve learned how to simulate and install roof-mounted solar panels and calculate their energy yield. This will really allow me to get something new off the ground at my employer in Thailand, for example, by advising those who want to switch to solar energy. I’ve come to appreciate the flexible, cooperative, yet results-focused way in which people work together at Projektgewinner GmbH.
Where does the energy transition start for you?
Change begins with you yourself, with individuals. If we’re to see development, then we need a new awareness. Everyone should have access to renewable energies. I hope that I can contribute to achieving this in Thailand.