Thailand’s Public Health Ministry embraces solar power to go green


Thailand’s Public Health Ministry is making significant strides towards sustainability by embracing solar power and electric vehicles to reduce energy consumption and combat global warming. 

Under the Ministry’s Smart Energy and Climate Action (SECA) policy, 1,855 agencies are required to have solar panels installed by the end of the year. These agencies encompass Provincial Public Health Offices, District Public Health Offices, regional hospitals, general hospitals, and community hospitals.

Opas Karnkawinpong, the ministry’s permanent secretary, expects annual electricity cost savings of 904.35 million baht and a reduction of 99,458 tons of CO2 emissions. 

Furthermore, plans for next year encompass enhanced energy efficiency, the adoption of electric vehicle, eco-friendly building improvements, the expansion of green areas, and the adoption of telemedicine to reduce hospital outpatient visits.

The ministry’s goal is to monitor progress and encourage exceptional agencies to act as role models in the implementation of SECA policy.

Thailand’s power mix has a relatively low share of coal, but natural gas makes up nearly two-thirds of its electricity generation. The country also imports over 10% of its electricity from neighboring countries, with a large share of it generated using coal.

The depletion of natural gas reserves within the country have increased the proportion and cost of fuel imports, posing a growing challenge for Thailand. 

Thai government has made a firm commitment to ensure that renewable energy accounts for at least 50% of new power generation capacity by 2050. To achieve carbon neutrality, the overall share of renewable electricity will need to climb to 68% by 2040 and 74% by 2050, according to LT-LEDS (Long-Term Low Emission Development Strategy).

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