The Nation


Letters to the Editor

Where is Thailand's green energy plan?

If you fail to plan, then plan to fail. A much-needed global energy plan is a prerequisite to ensure human survival.

Water is the key issue. Another is conserving and using our valuable gas, oil and coal resources. Reassessing US energy sector priorities, cheap natural gas is dominating; wind and solar are growing; coal is dwindling and nuclear power is waning. A factor not mentioned in support of nuclear power is its influence on domestic reserves of coal and natural gas. Nuclear power plants extend the life of fossil fuels far into the future and reduce price increases.

Sustainable urban energy planning, where more than half of the world's population resides, must aim to meet climate-change goals, incorporating rigorous greenhouse-gas reductions, and timeframes for integrating and optimising clean and efficient energy use within the urban environment by: introducing minimum efficiency standards worldwide for all products that consume energy, including buildings; incorporating strict energy conservation criteria into every phase of product design; helping developing countries pursue viable alternatives to inefficient biomass burning such as improved biomass cooking stoves, solar cookers and small-scale biogas digestions; and investing in public transportation, water management and necessary infrastructure improvements.

A vast cooperatively-developed global energy "smart grid" project for carbon capture and storage capability would build a more efficient shared electricity grid based on clean and renewable

generation. Approximately half of the goal of planning for 100 per cent renewable energy by 2050 could be met through increased energy efficiency to first reduce energy demands, and the other half would be achieved by aggressively switching to renewable energy sources for electricity production. Wind, solar, biomass and hydropower should be the main sources of electricity, with solar and geothermal sources, as well as heat pumps, providing a large share of heat for buildings and industry.

Charles Frederickson


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