THAILAND has risen to 51st rank out of 115 countries in the World Economic Forum (WEF) “Global Energy Transitions Index 2019”, Energy Minister Siri Jirapongphan said.
Siri said that this year, Thailand was preparing to push legal amendments and get rid of obstacles to attain a higher WEF rank. Thailand was ranked 54th last year.
The improvement in ranking is a result of the WEF view that Thailand has energy stability without emitting too much greenhouse gas, he said, pointing out that Thailand has earned compliments for more use of renewable energy as the country’s main energy.
Thailand has a plan to increase the use of renewable energy to 35 per cent of total energy used in the next 20 years from the current 14 per cent, Siri said. Besides, the country is moving towards power production from solar rooftops on residential units, the so-called people-sector solar power for the first time.
Meanwhile, Thailand needs more development of energy human resources, particularly the 10,000-watt people-sector solar policy in the next 20 years and the future use of electric vehicles (EVs).
“Such ranking is based on Thailand’s Power Development Plan [PDP]. If PDP 2018 is included, it is believed the ranking would be higher, with its drive for clean energy, particularly people-sector solar,” Siri said.
Siri expressed confidence that the new government would continue the new round of petroleum (concessions) for more petroleum production capacity that can offer lower prices compared to imports.
Given the increase in gas production with cheaper prices, the country has energy stability. The Energy Ministry is preparing a new round of auctions of exploration and production of petroleum in the Gulf of Thailand within this June under production sharing contract (PSC), he said.
Panata Sangsriroujana, deputy governor of Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat), said the authority is awaiting the current or new Cabinet’s approval of the draft amendment to the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand Act, which will allow Egat to proceed with fuel procurement. Earlier, Egat played a role in production and transmission system management.
Chaiwat Kovavisarach, chief executive officer of Bangchak Corporation, expressed no concerns about the energy policy as Thailand imports most of is energy whose prices follow global markets and that could affect consumers, while expecting the energy policy to follow the liberal-market mechanism.
Poonpat Leesombatpiboon, chief of the Energy Ministry’s International Energy Cooperation Division, said the higher rank came from the country’s energy stability and people’s access to energy, energy in response to the country’s economic expansion and development, and the energy system’s responsibility for the environment or reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and system initiative on shaping the future of energy.
After this, Thailand will require amendments of rules and regulations that hinder the country’s energy development, and preparation of energy human resources for more modern technologies, he said.
Wuttikorn Stithit, the vice president of PTT, said the company is joining hands to enhance the country’s energy stability through procurement of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and infrastructure development for LNG imports.
PTT is awaiting improvement of the ministry’s gas plan, which will revise the amount of LNG to be procured to match demand, set to rise to 53 per cent in the new PDP, he said.
Besides, an Asean study cooperation will be conducted for LNG terminals in the future and now Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia have already constructed LNG terminals.