Energy demand poised to grow 3.2%

Energy demand poised to grow 3.2%

Energy consumption is expected to grow by 3.2% next year, driven by economic growth estimated in a range of 3-4%, says the Energy Policy and Planning Office (Eppo).

Next year is also the due date for a new version of the 15-year National Energy Plan (NEP) to take effect, allowing for the development of nuclear energy and blue hydrogen as fuels to generate electricity in order to cut carbon dioxide emissions, according to Eppo.

In 2023, more economic activities will continue to drive energy demand, which is also determined by a predicted Dubai crude oil reference price of US$95-105 per barrel and an exchange rate of 35.2 baht against the US dollar, said Wattanapong Kurovat, director-general of Eppo.

The office said energy consumption will increase to 2,111 kilo-barrels of oil equivalent per day (KBOED), a 3.2% rise from an estimate of 2,056 KBOED this year. The amount tallied 1,993 KBOED in 2021.

In 2023, demand for oil will rise by 4.2%, up from 810 KBOED this year, said Eppo. The consumption of natural gas will increase by 1.8% from 772 KBOED in 2022, while coal demand will rise by 1.1% from 401 KBOED.

Next year, demand for electricity will increase by 3.1% from 203.8 billion kilowatt-hours, according to Eppo.

Eppo expects better energy management in 2023 as the NEP was revised to correspond with changes in energy costs as well as economic circumstances and technology.

Mr Wattanapong said the NEP not only aims to ensure national energy security, but also supports plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote new technology for alternative energy development.

Nuclear energy and blue hydrogen, which refers to natural gas-based hydrogen production with carbon capture and storage, are among the options to generate electricity. Development of blue hydrogen has been started by many energy firms in several countries.

"We hope the costs of these new fuels will become more competitive in the next two decades," said Sarat Prakobchat, deputy director-general of Eppo.

Under the new NEP, the proportion of gas used for electricity generation will be reduced to 40%, down from 60% of all fuels.

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