The government is being urged to put more effort into promoting energy savings and efficiency, as growing urbanisation will lead to higher energy demand in many cities, say academics.
At an energy forum hosted by King Mongkut's University of Technology Thonburi (KMUTT) on Thursday, Pattana Rakkwamsuk, dean of the energy, environment and materials school, said high-rise buildings in urban areas will absorb heat from sunlight and push electricity demand for air-conditioners to rise.
Air flows will be blocked by high-rises, causing more heat in urban areas.
More than half of energy bills are borne by air-conditioners, with 25-30% from building lighting, said Dr Pattana.
The population in Greater Bangkok will be denser in the future, leading to more environmental problems involving waste disposal, water pollution, traffic jams and air pollution.
A KMUTT study showed energy consumption in office buildings in 2010 averaged 146 kilowatt-hours per square metre per year, 173 kWh for hotels, 148 kWh for hospitals, 91 kWh for schools and 400 kWh for hypermarkets.
"If building owners think more about saving energy and using proper designs and building materials, then consumption could drop to 50 kWh per sq m per year," said Dr Pattana.
He said KMUTT is seeking project financing to develop a net zero energy headquarters.
Dr Pattana urged the government to accelerate promotions for rooftop solar cells in the household segment to cut carbon dioxide emissions from power plants run by fossil fuels.
Yossapong Laoonual, assistant head of the mechanical engineering department, said total energy demand in 2030 will more than double to 151 million tonnes of oil equivalent from 71 million in 2010.
"Biofuel use in Thailand should be growing at a much faster rate, as higher oil prices will be seen in coming years," he said.
About the author
- Writer: Yuthana Praiwan
Position: Business Reporter