A complete overview of the energy sector of Thailand
The energy sector of Thailand is mainly governed by the Ministry of Energy, and it is efficiently managed by the National Energy Policy Council or NEPC. This NEPC performs some basic duties such as recommending national energy policy and energy development and management, which bring steady growth to the energy sector of the country.
The secretariat of NEPC is responsible for drafting and implementing all energy-related proposals and policies. Thailand has set 30% of total energy consumption by the end of the year 2036. Since it is an independent sector, it is regulated by the Independent Energy Regulation Commission, which continually monitors the present energy market, reviews the tariffs, approves power purchases like how much power consumption is used by the people of Thailand and reviews the planning and development sector at large. The country has decided to increase its energy production by almost 60 per cent by the end of the year 2036.
The present scenario of the energy sector of Thailand
In recent days, the country has faced an immense increase in respect of energy demand. As per the reports of the ASEAN Centre for Energy, the growing demand in the energy sector in Southeast Asia is assumed to witness a sudden surge between 110 to approx 130 per cent. Therefore, the Thai government has also decided to increase its supply by 30% to comply with the demand.
Due to the growing population of Thailand and its impressive development in the energy sector, energy consumption is assumed to increase by 70 per cent in recent days. But along with this, the country is now facing a fossil fuel crisis. In the early days, Thailand was dependent on renewable energy sources for all kinds of energy requirements. But now the scenario has changed a lot. Some alternative sources have come into the picture to fulfil the energy consumption requirements of the people.
The IRENA has represented an outlook based on the current usage level of energy in the country, and there it has been mentioned that the country’s gas and oil resources will soon get finished in the coming days. To overcome this crisis in the energy sector, the country must emphasize other resources to fulfil its energy requirements.
Planning in the Energy sector
In the year 2015, Thailand launched Thailand Integrated Energy Blueprint, which is a document that maps out the energy requirements and goals from the year 2015 to 2036. In this document, three plans have been submitted by the Thai Government officials – the energy-efficient plan, the power development plan, The Alternative energy development plan, and so on.
Under the plan of AEDP, the Thai government has emphasized the point to source almost 40 per cent of the energy consumption requirements of the country from none other than renewable energy sources. In the current scenario, it seems that the government of Thailand is doing well in meeting its goals. The Prime Minister of Thailand is constantly giving their best effort to raise the target of renewable energy sources by 40 per cent. He even also pleaded to cut the Greenhouse gas emission by approx 30 per cent.
Solar and wind energy sources
The country has attained commendable growth in respect of renewable energy sources such as wind energy and solar power energy. As per the reports of IRENA, the capacity of the country in generating solar power has increased by almost ten times. The reports clearly show that the total PV installations have reached halfway towards achieving its target of 6000 megawatts by the year 2036.
Not only this, but the investment in the solar power sector has also increased a lot over the years. In the years2015 and 2016, respectively, the Thai government granted 240 solar and almost 60 wind farm plans.
It is reported that Thai will soon meet a second rush or change in the country with a great emphasis on the solar system rooftops. As per the reports of the National Energy Reform Committee, the customers in the country can produce electricity using solar rooftops and store surplus power.
Another massive contributor in the sector of renewable energy that has been observed to be the most booming and flourishing is the wind energy sector. The Wind Energy Council of the country has tinted that Thailand has secured the49thplacein respect to wind energy capacity and installation. Wind energy is said to be Thailand’s biggest wind power generator.
WEH is aiming at improving its Wind energy by 3000 MW by the year 2025. Presently, one-fifth of the country’s electricity is produced from renewable energy sources as per the reports of the state-owned Department of Electricity Generation Authority of the Country, and the numbers are likely to rise in the coming days as well. With the growing investment in the renewable energy sector, Thailand has also decided to condense its growing dependence on fossil fuels.
Currently, Thailand is emphasizing integrating the latest technology into Thailand’s various segments to lift the economy of the country. This progressive viewpoint of the country on the sources of renewable energy will lead this country to set an example as a developing one in respect of sustainable development.
Renewable energy ambition in Thailand
Considering Thailand’s natural resources, renewable energy has been considered a robust growth opportunity for the entire nation. However, it should be developed in respect of the broader energy ecosystem. To achieve a 40GW renewable target, Thailand is bringing innovations besides traditional large-scale power items. Like other markets of the country, a big challenge has been created regarding the development of renewable energy in Thailand, and this challenge is power availability versus demand. If the heat generated from solar and wind can meet the growing demand, the economy of Thailand will experience enormous growth in the manufacturing and agriculture sectors as well.
However, energy storage technologies are needed to reform, comprehensive, and affordable solutions are not yet available in today’s age. During this time, Thailand will manage to meet its peak needs through new power technologies and fuels, including high-efficiency coal, which offers an alternative to natural gas resources.
The renewable energy sector has received significant demand from most of the markets as the sentiments of consumers remain positive for a long time. Renewable energy consumption has increased for both commercial and residential customers up to 6 per cent and 5 per cent, respectively. On the other hand, industrial consumption has decreased a bit, i.e., by 3 per cent from June 2019 to January 2020.
In the year 2020, companies in the renewable sector must be mindful of a few caveats which may create an impact on the growth of renewable energy. It is expected that the growth in the renewable energy sector will immensely increase this year.
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