Thailand’s new power plan expected to be implemented by Q2


The hydro-floating solar hybrid project at Sirindhorn Dam in Thailand. (Photo: EGAT)

Thailand’s new power development plan (PDP) is expected to be finalized by the second quarter and will focus more on renewable energy, according to the Energy Ministry. The final decision on whether to include nuclear power as part of the alternative energy mix will be made by the minister.

The new PDP, which encompasses power generation and distribution plans, replaces the current one that took effect in 2018, following numerous revisions to align with changes in energy policy.  

The new version is scheduled to be implemented between 2024 and 2037.  It was earlier delayed by the pandemic, a rise in global energy prices and Thailand's new commitment to cutting CO2 emissions. 

The revised plan will also include a proposal to build Thailand’s first nuclear power plant. According to ministry, the minister Piraphan Salirathavibhaga will have the final say on whether to include a nuclear power plant as a source of alternative energy in the new PDP.

If the minister endorses the plan with the nuclear plant proposal, the ministry will hold public hearings on the issue starting late this month or early next month, said Prasert Sinsukprasert, the permanent energy secretary. People in Bangkok and other major cities will be asked to participate. 

He also said the authorities want the power sector to use more renewable fuels. The current PDP set a target for renewable energy use to account for 30% of total power generation. The new version will increase the ratio of alternative/fossil energy to 70%:30% while planning for the decommissioning of coal and gas power plants.

He pointed out that while Indonesia and Vietnam have cheaper rates of electricity because they use coal-fired power plants, they do not have the same level of energy security as Thailand, which focuss on hydropower and alternative energy.

Thailand’s greenhouse gas emission amount to 350 million tons of CO2e per day. The volume is expected to peak in 2025 as it steps up efforts to implement new energy management plans. 

The PDP is part of the national energy plan (NEP), which includes alternative energy development, energy efficiency, oil and gas . It’s goals is to have renewable energy account for around 50% of the fuels used for power generation by 2037. 

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