Rainbow Warrior kickstarts 'Energy [R]evolution Tour' of Thailand

Wind and Solar Energy is the answer to Energy Crisis: Greenpeace

Feature story - July 4, 2008
Greenpeace flagship, SV Rainbow Warrior, sailed into Songkhla today to challenge the government and power sector of Thailand to commit to a massive uptake of renewable energy to combat climate change and address energy security issues in the country.

Greenpeace flagship, SV Rainbow Warrior, sailed to Songkhla today to challenge the government and power sector of Thailand to commit to a massive uptake of renewable energy to combat climate change and address energy security issues in the country.

The iconic campaigning sailing vessel is on a 21 day tour of Thailand to spearhead Greenpeace's 'Quit Coal, Lead the Energy [R]evolution' campaign to reduce Thailand's dependence on coal and gas and to encourage investments in Energy Efficiency measures and power generation from renewable energy sources like wind, solar and biomass.

"The need of the hour is to shift from polluting and climate-change causing fossil fuels and to exploit the massive renewable energy potential in Thailand. The price of coal has shot up from 66 USD to 172 USD per ton in one year. It is time to invest in the power of the wind and sun to provide people with energy security. With more incentives and assistance, the market for clean energy should follow the global trend of very high growth rates in clean energy installations," said Tara Buakamsri, Campaign Manager, Greenpeace Southeast Asia.

The newly-established Thailand net metering law allows very small power producers, residents and villages to generate electricity from wind turbines or other renewable sources and sell surplus electricity back to grid. This strategy is projected to help alleviate poverty and unemployment among Thais through income from generation of clean energy.

Currently VSPP (Very Small Power Producers) generators can sell up to 10 MW of electrical power to Thailand's distribution utilities Provincial Electricity Authority and Metropolitan Electricity Authority. Wind turbine developers receive an added subsidy of 6.10 baht per kWh which makes investment in wind energy very attractive.

"Renewable energy does not only help solve climate change, but allows the public to truly participate in developing the country's energy resources. The people of Thailand deserve clean energy sources that preserve the environment and give us a sense of economic stability," said Mike Fincken, Captain of the Rainbow Warrior on arrival at Songkla port.

Coal is the dirtiest, most carbon intensive of all fossil fuels. Coal use, primarily for the generation of electricity, now accounts for roughly 20% of global GHG emissions. Emitting 29% more carbon per unit of energy than oil and 80% more than gas, coal is one of the leading contributors to climate change. Burning coal also releases massive amounts of toxic substances such as mercury and arsenic which have deadly impacts on human health and create acutely detrimental effects on developing economies and hosting communities.

The UN Environment Programme estimates that investments in renewable energy worldwide reached $148 billion in 2007 due to concerns over energy security and climate change.

Rainbow Warrior will stop at Songkla, Thapsake and Bangkok as part of its 'Lead the Energy Revolution Tour' of Thailand.

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