Diversify the source of Fuel for Power
The Thai Energy Minister, Siri Jirapongphan, has recently announced that Thailand is expected to increase the mix of electricity generated by coal and renewables to diversify its source of fuel for power generation.
“The share of coal in our power generation mix is very low at slightly less than 20 percent,” the Energy Minister said at the International Energy Forum last week.
“We need to diversify the sources of fuel for our power generation. Having a reasonable percentage of coal to be used for power generation would be a necessity in considering the security of fuel supply to our generation system.”
In the past Thailand has relied mainly on natural gas
The power demand from the citizens is falling behind consumption, requiring the country to import more piped gas from Myanmar and more liquefied natural gas.
A plan set a few years back by the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) to build coal-fired power plants in the southern Thailand towns of Krabi and Songkhla have been delayed due to opposition from villagers and environmentalists.
“We need to conduct a more global strategic environmental assessment to identify a more suitable location to build a coal-fired power plant that Thailand needs,” Siri said, adding that a decision on the whereabouts of the coal fired power plants locations could be made towards the end of this year (2018).
“In terms of contribution to carbon dioxide generation, Thailand can be considered as one of the lowest in the world,” Siri said.
Authorities increased retail electricity prices by 3.5 percent last year for the first time since 2014, citing rising oil and gas prices.
Falling costs for solar panels has made the renewable resource competitive against fossil fuels.
“We have proven in several pilot projects that we can expand on our success to promote more electricity generation from renewable resources at a price which we call grid parity at 8 cents (per kilowatt hour) on a wholesale basis.”
Going forward, Siri said that Thailand will only be accepting grid-parity prices of electricity generated from renewable/green sources.
Follow this link to read the original article on the Reuters website by Florence Tan in NEW DELHI and Chayut Setboonsarng in BANGKOK; Additional reporting by Promit Mukherjee in NEW DELHI; Editing by Christian Schmollinger