Energy use to climb 5.4% this year, minister says
Energy Minister Pongsak Rukta-pongpisal expects energy consumption this year to grow 5.4 per cent to 2.08 million barrels of oil equivalent per day.Consumption of liquefied petroleum gas will go up by 4.8 per cent to 7.7 million tonnes, versus 6.7-per-cent growth last year, while the first-car-buyer scheme will push petrol use 5 per cent higher.
The Energy Ministry's projections are based on the 2013 economic growth forecast of 4.5-5.5 per cent by the National Economic and Social Develop-ment Board.
Use of LPG for households will increase by 7.4 per cent; for vehicles by 6.9 per cent; for industry by 2.5 per cent; and for the petrochemical industry by 2.6 per cent.
Petrol consumption is expected to rise to 21.9 million litres per day after the first-car scheme put a million new vehicles on the road. Diesel demand is forecast to creep up 2.6 per cent to 57.4 million litres a day because of |economic growth and the subsidised retail price.
Electricity consumption last year surged 8.5 per cent to 161.55 billion units because of the long hot season, post-flood recovery and record auto sales. The increase in power consumption this year is expected to be a more natural 5.9 per cent. High on the ministry's agenda for this year will be the project to convert a type of grass used to feed elephants to make biogas, which can boost farm incomes significantly and alleviate the country's |natural-gas shortage.
The natural gas derived here can be used to fire the 20 community power plants planned for this year, run vehicles and serve as an alternative to LPG in households, Amnuay Thongsatit, director-general of the Department of Alternative Energy Development, said yesterday.