Thailand seems to have the potential to shift to renewable energy exclusively soon

About a decade ago, the percentage of renewable energy contribution to Thailand’s power consumption was negligible. Going by the 2010 statistics, it was around 2% of the total energy, and the precise figure was 3,426 GWh.  As for natural gas and coal, their contribution to the total power consumption was as high as 90 percent. After all, the figure stood at 148 202 GWh out of the 164,829 GWh used that year.

Given the rate at which South Asia is growing, it doesn’t come as a surprise that Thailand is also doing well economically. However, that also means an increase in electricity demand. No country wants to develop its community around a high-carbon model. So, the best way to proceed is to ensure that the state shifts to sustainable energy. That’s probably what Thailand has done because ten years down the line, the figures are different.

As of 2019, the renewable sources’ contribution had increased from 2 to 10 percent contributing about 21,402 GWh. On the other hand, natural gas and coal’s contribution has dropped from 90 percent to 75 percent. As much as it doesn’t sound quite remarkable, the pace is impressive. If maintained, renewable energy will be the leading contributor to Thailand’s power consumption sooner or later.

Nevertheless, the government hasn’t gotten the nation here without having to lift a finger. One notable step was the government policy of 2007 that was in favor of renewable energy. Through various incentive programs, small power producers sell their renewable energy to the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) and great prices for a certain period. The move has seen many people find it excellent to invest in the renewable energy market. After all, there is a readily available market.

Amazingly, EGAT chose to play along because failure to do so could have seen the plan collapse. The fact that it is the one in charge of the national power grid in Thailand means it could not involve other parties. There is also its capability of offering up to 5half of power consumption. So, why did it then join hands with others despite the threat they posed on its market?

One would say that EGAT didn’t have much choice. The available natural gas couldn’t sustain Thailand for long. So, EGAT was torn between relying on export or letting others join hands to develop the country’s renewable energy within its boundaries. The second option carried the day.

Because EGAT is the main off-taker and the primary electricity producer, issues often arise both economically and politically. There is also the fact that people are still developing coal-powered plants.  However, nature is in favor of renewables. After all, natural gas is slowly diminishing, leaving renewables as the ultimate choice.

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