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Power Development Plan

The course of Thailand’s electricity industry development has set forth a goal of greater efficiency - both on the supply side and demand side. The aim is to ensure the optimization of energy resources and minimization of environmental impacts, with an ultimate goal of sustainable energy development. On the other hand, the industry has also had to properly adjust to economic and social changes as well as national energy policies and strategies over the past decades.

The remarkable rise of Thailand’s industrial sector is the primary contributor to the country’s large electricity appetite. The chart below highlights the percentage share of the country's total electrical energy consumption during the first half year of 2019 for each of the main sectors. The largest share, 44.3%, was consumed by industrial users, followed by residential users at 25.9%. The business sector accounted for 25.5% of total electrical consumption, while other users consumed 4.34%, according to data from Energy Policy and Planning Office, Ministry of Energy.

Thailand is highly dependent on energy imports. Therefore, the country has identified that it needs to develop new sources of energy both domestically and regionally, through collaboration with neighboring countries as well as promoting the use of energy from renewable sources and improving infrastructure to reduce the cost of transport.

“Thailand Power Development Plan 2015-2036 (PDP2015)” was endorsed by the National Energy Policy Council (NEPC) on May 14, 2015 and acknowledged by the Cabinet on June 30, 2015. It focuses on :

(1) Energy Security : coping with the increasing power demand to correspond to National Economic and Social Development Plan and taking into account fuel diversification

(2) Economy : maintaining an appropriate cost of power generation for long-term economic competitiveness

(3) Ecology : lessening carbon dioxide intensity of power generation

Estimated fuel requirements for the PDP2015 are shown in the following table:

Fuel Percentage in 2014 Percentage in 2026 Percentage in 2036
Imported hydro power 7 10 - 15 15 - 20
Clean coal including lignite 20 20 - 25 20 - 25
Renewable energy including hydro 8 10 - 20 15 - 20
Natural gas 64 45 - 50 30 - 40
Nuclear - - 0 - 5
Diesel/Fuel oil 1 - -

Power Demand Forecast

Thailand’s new Power Demand Forecast was calculated upon the average long- term GDP growth during year 2014-2036 estimated by the NESDB of 3.94 percent and the average population growth of 0.03 percent. In addition, the energy saving target from the EEDP accounts for 89,672 GWh, and the renewable energy development target from the AEDP was set at 19,634.4 MW in year 2036.

The Thailand’s new Power Demand Forecast would grow 2.67 percent annually from year 2014 to 2036. In year 2036, the expected energy and power demand would be 326,119 GWh and 49,655 MW respectively. The Power Demand Forecast of the PDP2010

Revision 3 and the PDP2015 are compared as shown in the table below:

Year PDP2010 Rev3 PDP2015 Change (%)
Peak (MW) Energy (GWh) Peak (MW) Energy (GWh) Peak (MW) Energy (GWh)
2016 31,809 210,619 30,218 197,891 -1,591 -12,728
2026 46,003 304,548 40,791 267,629 -5,212 -36,919
2030 52,256 346,767 44,424 291,519 -7,832 -55,248
2036 - - 49,655 326,119 - -

In 2036, the total capacity would be 70,335 MW comprising existing capacity of 37,612 MW (as of December 2014), new capacity of 57,459 MW, and retired capacity during 2015-2036 of 24,736 MW as shown below:

Generating capacity during 2015 - 2036
Existing capacity as of December 2014 37,612 MW
New capacity during 2015-2036 57,459 MW
Retired capacity during 2015-2036 -24,736 MW
Total capacity in 2036 70,335 MW

New capacity added during 2015-2036 of 57,459 MW can be classified as follows:

Renewable power plant 12,105 MW
Domestic 9,543 MW
Power purchase from neighboring countries 57,459 MW
Pump-storage hydro power plant 2,101 MW
Cogeneration power plant 4,119 MW
Combined cycle power plant 2,101 MW
Thermal power plant 12,113 MW
Coal/Lignite power plant 7,390 MW
Nuclear power plant 2,000 MW
Gas turbine power plant 1,250 MW
Power purchase from neighboring countries 1,473 MW
Total 57,459 MW

Thailand Energy Policies

The Thailand Power Development Plan 2015-2036 (PDP2015) was formulated according to the frameworks and the assumptions approved by the National Energy Policy Council (NEPC) on August 15, 2014. Thus, the timeframe of the Thailand Power Development Plan 2015-2036 (PDP2015), the Energy Efficiency Development Plan (EEDP), and the Alternative Energy Development Plan (AEDP) were harmonized with the National Economic and Social Development Plan (NESDP).

The Ministry of Energy (Thailand) intended to harmonize 5 integration master plans that are:

  • (1) PDP2015
  • (2) EEDP
  • (3) AEDP
  • (4) Natural Gas Supply Plan
  • (5) Petroleum Management Plan - in order to systemize the country’s energy management

The Energy Efficiency Development Plan (EEDP) and the Alternative Energy Development Plan (AEDP) were described as follows:

Energy Efficiency Development Plan (EEDP)

The 20-year Energy Efficiency Development Plan 2015-2036 (EEDP) was developed by the Energy Policy and Planning Office, Ministry of Energy (Thailand) to address the issues. The objectives of the EEDP are as follows:

  • To establish the energy conservation targets (heat and electricity) in short term 5 years and long term 20 years where the aim is to reduce energy intensity (EI) by 30 percent in year 2036 compared with that in year 2010 for overall country and energy intensive sectors such as industrial, business, and residential as shown in figure 1.
  • To define strategies and guidelines in the energy conservation promotion to achieve the aforementioned targets and to formulate operation plans of the relevant organizations.
Figure 1 the energy conservation target during year 2010-2036

The target of the EEDP 2015-2036 becomes to reduce energy intensity by 30 percent in year 2036 compared with that in year 2010 or accounting for 56,142 kilo tons of oil equivalent (ktoe). However, energy savings estimated by an energy intensity reduction during year 2010-2013 was 4,442 ktoe. Thus, the energy conservation target would be achieved by measures and projects during year 2015-2036 accounting for 51,700 ktoe where around 15 percent or 7,641 ktoe (89,672 GWh) would be in electricity sectors and around 85 percent or 44,059 ktoe would be in thermal sectors as shown in Figure 2

Figure 2 the energy conservation target according to EEDP in year 2036
Alternative Energy Development Plan (AEDP)

In the new AEDP, the renewable energy promotion schemes were designed to strengthen the community, lessen the dependence on fossil fuels and address social problems such as municipal solid waste and agricultural waste. Therefore, the plan intended to encourage waste, biomass, and biogas power generation as the first priority. According to the plan, the potential of power generation from waste would be 500 MW and the potential of power generation from biomass would be 2,500 MW. In line with the policies of the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives (Thailand), to increase the plantation area of sugar cane and palm, as well as to raise productivity of cassava from 3.5 to 7 tons per Rai per year could increase the potential of 1,500 MW. In addition, area by area zoning and power generation capacity limitation measures were adopted to prevent challenges from the previous plan. It is expected that technology improvement would build up the competitiveness of renewable energy over that of conventional energy especially LNG. The main target of the new AEDP is to increase the portion of renewable energy generation from currently 8 percent to 20 percent of the total power requirement in 2036 which accounts for 19,634.4 MW as shown in Table 3.

Table 3 : The Alternative Energy Development Plan in Year 2036 (MW)
Year Solar Wind Hydro Waste Biomass Biogas Energy crops Total
2014 1,298.5 224.5 3,048.4 65.7 2,541.8 311.5 - 7,490.41
2036 6,000.0 3,002.0 3,282.4 500.0 5,570.0 600.0 680.0 19,634.41
Remark : 1Installed capacity
Table 4 The Renewable and Alternative Energy Targets of AEDP in 2036 (MW)
Type Plant Factor (%) Target1
Solar 16 6,000.0
Ground Mount 15
Wind 18 3,002.0
Hydro 44 3,282.4
≤ 1 MW - 376.0
> 10 MW 2,906.4
Municipal Waste 70 500.0
Biomass 70 5,570.0
Biogas (Waste water/Waste) 70 600.0
Biogas (Energy crops) 78 680.0
Total 19,634.4
Remark : 1Installed capacity
Sources : Energy Policy and Planning Office, Ministry of Energy Last updated : July 31, 2019

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