New plan expected to cut CO₂ output
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New plan expected to cut CO₂ output

A floating solar farm, operated by the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand at the Sirindhorn Dam in Ubon Ratchathani.
A floating solar farm, operated by the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand at the Sirindhorn Dam in Ubon Ratchathani.

Thailand's new national energy plan (NEP), which is based on its commitment to serious efforts to cut carbon dioxide emissions, is expected to be finalised by the end of this year, says Prasert Sinsukprasert, permanent secretary for energy.

Under the NEP, renewables will make up almost 50% of fuels used for power generation by 2037, he said.

More use of renewable power is estimated to decrease fossil fuel-derived energy consumption by 16,683 kilo-barrels of oil equivalent per day.

The NEP is meant to direct the country's energy management from 2023 to 2037, consisting of five plans: a power development plan, alternative energy development plan, energy efficiency plan, oil plan and gas plan.

Mr Prasert said renewable energy is highlighted in the NEP, following Thailand's announcement at the 26th UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow in 2021 that it aims to achieve carbon neutrality, a balance between carbon dioxide emissions and absorption, by 2050, along with a net-zero target, a balance between greenhouse gas emissions and absorption, by 2065.

Each year Thailand emits roughly 350 million tonnes of carbon dioxide, with up to 250 million tonnes coming from the power and transport sectors, according to the Thailand Greenhouse Gas Management Organization.

To achieve carbon neutrality, Thailand needs to decrease carbon dioxide emissions to 120 million tonnes a year by 2050.

In the power sector alone, the amount of carbon dioxide must be reduced to 90 million tonnes annually within the same period, he said.

Under the NEP, Thailand anticipates 34,287 megawatts of electricity generation from solar power, 10,534MW from floating solar farms, 9,378MW from wind power, 5,730MW from biomass, 1,142MW from city garbage, 1,025MW from biogas derived from waste water and solid waste, 755MW from biogas in the agricultural sector, and 249MW from industrial waste.

In the hydropower segment, 2,918MW is projected from large plants and 346MW from small plants.

Other types of energy, including hydrogen and geothermal power, are expected to contribute 21MW.

Thailand also needs to import 10,464MW from neighbouring countries under the NEP, said Mr Prasert.

Authorities also suggested development of small modular reactors between 2036 and 2037 as another option to promote clean energy.

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