Dawn of an Energy [R]evolution in Thailand

Page - December 17, 2008
In June 2008 when we launched our campaign calling upon the government of Thailand to Quit coal and begin an energy [r]evolution to power Thailand’s future with clean energy technologies, we could not have predicted the political turbulence that led to two prominent Thai energy ministers, Lieutenant General Poonpirom Liptapanlop and Mr. Wannarat Charnnukul, take charge and move on.

Mr. Manot, one of Thailand's wind turbine producers.

Wind power is a clean renewable energy source. Some seaside areas are suitable as bases for wind power production. However, due to lack of support in term of investment and capacity development in the country, the production and electricity costs are still high.

But neither could we have predicted that the voices of several thousands of Thai people who joined our cyber petition would actually lead to Thailand government fast-tracking a 15-year Renewable Energy Development Plan despite the political turmoil.

To our surprise we received confirming information that the Department of Alternative Energy Development and Efficiency of Thailand is embarking on an ambitious program to increase investments in research and development of wind, solar, biomass, and other clean renewable energy sources. The plan envisages new policies for feed in tarriffs to enable robust participation by private parties  and also heavier focus on energy conservation and efficiency.

The outgoing minister of energy has already set in motion the plans to speed up the preparation of the 15-Year Renewable Energy Development Plan (REDP) by accelerating the organization of public consultations prior to submission to the National Energy Policy Council (NEPC) and speed up the implementation pursuant to the Energy Conservation Program, Phase 3 (2005-2011), under which the target of energy saving has been adjusted from 10.8% to 20% by focusing mainly on energy saving promotion in the industrial and transportation sectors.

These are the right policies and with careful implementation will be able to achieve the intention of : strengthening energy security of the country by reducing energy imports and promoting indigenous energy resources, competitive energy price for sustained economic growth, and providing her contribution in reducing the global emission of greenhouse gases.

11 July 2008 - Greenpeace flagship Rainbow Warrior anchor near wind farm in Koh Lan island, Pattaya 200 kms east of Bangkok. The Rainbow Warrior is in Thailandon its Quit Coal, Energy [R]evolution Tour to promote solutions to climate change to stop the expansion of coal plants and shift to clean renewable energy.

Department of Alternative Energy Development and Efficiency of Thailand has to now focus its energies on research and development of all forms of alternative energy on a continuous basis, by staying on track with 4 main points of the policy changes- a) speed up the preparation of the 15-Year Renewable Energy Development Plan (REDP) ; b) introduce imore incentive measures to induce investment in power generation using all potential types of renewable energy; c) promote community-scale alternative energy  and d) emphasize the creation of energy saving discipline as a national culture.

All of this is possible because decades of technological progress have moved renewable energy technologies into the mainstream - technologies like wind turbines, solar photovoltaic panels, biomass power plants and solar thermal collectors. The market for renewable energy is also growing dramatically;in 2007, global annual investment in renewable energy exceeded US$100 billion.

Given the progress of decentralized renewable energy program (SPPs and VSPPs) in Thailand, the target to increase the use of renewable energy for power generation from 2,061 MW at present to 3,276 MW in 2011, or an increase of 1,215 MW, is likely to be exceeded.

  • Greenpeace's vision of an Energy [R]evolution to avoid dangerous climate change and ensure energy security assumes the following -
  • phasing out all subsidies for fossil fuels and nuclear energy and internalisation of external costs.
  • The setting up of legally binding targets for renewable enrgy
  • The provision of defined and stable return for investors
  • Guaranteed priority access to the grid for renewable energy generators
  • Strect efficiency standards for all energy consuming appliances, buildings and vehicles.

รายงานการปฏิวัติพลังงาน - การคาดการณ์พลังงานที่ยั่งยืนทั่วโลก ที่ใช้ 3 ขั้นตอน ได้แก่ ประสิทธิภาพ โครงสร้าง และ การขนส่ง

The Energy [R]evolution - a sustainable global energy outlook.

Download the Energy [R]evolution plan

Summary (PDF - 16 pages) | Full Report (PDF - 212 pages)

Browse more:

Quit Coal Ship Tour slideshows

Slideshow: Global Day of Climate Action 2008

True Cost of Coal report

Report: Decentralizing Thai Power: Towards a sustainable energy system

Play Coalfinger!

Energy [R]evolution - The Game!