Renewable Energy and Green Technology in Thailand

Thai renewable energy and green technology

The Thai government is making an effort to promote renewable energy and green technology, with the goal of ensuring the country’s development is sustainable.

Thailand boasts a diverse installed renewable capacity, with hydropower, solar and biomass as the main sources. Unfortunately, this wide variety makes scaling up any one of these technologies difficult.


Hydropower is a renewable energy source that utilizes water to generate electricity. It’s currently used in 150 countries around the world and ranks among one of the top sources of power generation.

Hydropower offers the primary advantage of not producing carbon dioxide emissions, which is essential in light of global climate change goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and keep carbon dioxide concentrations below 350 parts per million (ppm).

Thailand has long relied on hydropower as an energy source and it remains popular today. The country is striving to reduce power prices and boost the use of clean energy sources.

According to the power development plan, India aims to have an installed capacity of 77,210 MW by 2037. Additionally, the plan seeks to diversify the energy mix by increasing wind, solar, biomass and hydropower sources.

For this purpose, the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat) has begun operating a new mini-hydropower plant in Uttaradit. With 14 megawatts of generation capacity, this facility will help lower Thai power prices and contribute towards meeting the government’s goal of carbon neutrality.

It is important to remember that hydropower does have some drawbacks, such as impacts on river flow and ecosystems and the need to relocate people living near dams. Nonetheless, it remains seen as a valuable energy source and solution to meet Southeast Asia’s increasing electricity demand.

At present, Thailand has three options to meet its energy demands: the mainstream dam scenario, tributary dam scenario and floating solar scenario. Under this scenario, Thailand purchases electricity from dams along the Mekong River in Laos.

The tributary dam scenario involves purchasing electricity from projects on tributaries of the Mekong that already export it to Thailand. This option is attractive because it avoids construction of new dams in Laos while still providing dispatchable electricity.

The floating solar scenario assumes Thailand will purchase some electricity from floating solar projects located on dam reservoirs currently exporting power via existing transmission lines. This strategy would allow Thailand to utilize existing infrastructure at a much cheaper cost than traditional hydropower dams.

Solar power

Solar power is an excellent way to save money on electricity bills and reduce the environmental impact of your home or business. There are various types of solar panels available, so make sure you find one suitable for your requirements.

Solar energy is renewable and can be used to power homes, businesses and industries. Additionally, it generates electricity that is exported back to the grid for export.

Thailand has great potential for renewables to help it reach its ambitious goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2065. To do this, the country must replace fossil fuels with cleaner sources of energy.

The Thai government is determined to achieve these results, and is actively undertaking projects that will assist it in fulfilling its targets.

These projects aim to improve Thailand’s power system efficiency, boost green energy production and use less electricity from foreign sources. Furthermore, policies and rules will be put in place that promote local, environmentally friendly energy sources as well as greater utilization of renewable resources within the country.

Thailand primarily depends on hydro and biomass for renewable energy sources. But solar, along with storage technologies, are growing rapidly too; according to Apricum’s study, the country currently has 3.47 GW of installed solar capacity with projections reaching 8.7 GW by 2037.

Thailand’s solar industry is confronting several difficulties. In 2015, the country’s national energy policy council prohibited ground-mounted solar farms from connecting to the national grid – a major impediment to growth in this field of renewable energy.

Additionally, Egat – a non-profit organization – is working to address the recycling of hazardous waste produced by old solar panels in collaboration with Thailand’s Department of Industrial Works. This issue has become particularly pressing recently due to increased government regulations regarding waste disposal.

Another major challenge lies in developing and integrating renewables into the existing energy infrastructure. This task will necessitate significant investments in both infrastructure as well as a restructured energy sector.


Biofuels, which are produced from agricultural and municipal waste, are an integral part of Thailand’s energy mix. With its dependence on fossil fuels and annual imports of around 106 million tonnes of oil, biofuels serve to reduce Thailand’s dependence on foreign oil sources.

Biofuels have seen a meteoric rise in Asia, particularly Thailand which was among the first countries to adopt an official policy to promote ethanol and set targets for sourcing 25% of its energy from renewable sources by 2036. To meet these targets, Thailand has implemented various policies such as an Alternative Energy Development Plan (AEDP), incentives for promoting ethanol and biodiesel production, and preferential excise and municipal tax rates.

In addition to environmental benefits, Thailand’s growing biodiesel industry also supports economic development and trade. Indeed, producing biodiesel helps rebalance the palm oil market and increases supply of this commodity while giving smallholder farmers an additional source of income.

Biofuels come with risks and challenges. For instance, if biodiesel production diverts crops away from food consumption, it could result in indirect land use change (ILUC). In the case of oil palm plantations, this could mean displacement of rice farms – leading to negative impacts on food security as well as quality assurance of Thai agricultural produce.

Furthermore, biofuel production poses a potential challenge with regards to climate change due to its dependence on crop-based feedstocks that may lead to ILUC and emissions of greenhouse gases like methane or carbon dioxide.

Climate change could be adversely affected by biofuel production, leading to droughts, floods and increased air pollution. Thus, it is imperative to understand the environmental implications before developing this industry in a sustainable manner.

The primary challenge in developing a biofuel sustainably lies in finding suitable feedstock that won’t lead to ILUC and abstain from using agrochemicals with high environmental costs. Furthermore, improved yields from existing feedstocks are necessary for secure supplies of raw material for biofuel production.

Electric vehicles

Electric vehicles are becoming more and more commonplace across Thailand and beyond, as they offer an eco-friendly alternative to traditional fuel-based cars. Furthermore, electric vehicles can help the country reduce its carbon emissions and combat air pollution issues.

Thailand has taken a proactive approach in encouraging the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs), providing tax breaks for manufacturing 17 key parts for EVs and subsidies for imported EVs.

Additionally, the Thailand Board of Investment has been actively encouraging investments related to electric vehicles (EVs). These include tax breaks ranging from three to 11 years for production of EVs and an incentive scheme for charging infrastructure construction (link).

Though the Thai government has actively promoted electric vehicle adoption, domestic sales remain low due to several reasons; such as customer behavior, limited selection of models available, unfavorable macroeconomics and an absence of charging infrastructure.

Thailand must implement short and long-term plans that address five critical elements that influence electric vehicle adoption: environment, economy, charging infrastructure, government support and battery maintenance. These factors must be taken into consideration when creating their EV policy.

Of all these factors, government support is the most influential in terms of increasing EV sales in the short-term. Governments can boost demand for electric vehicles by offering incentives like charging infrastructure or designated parking lanes to EV owners.

Governments can encourage electric vehicle (EV) owners to increase their fuel efficiency by lowering CO2 taxes and introducing tax-related schemes. By doing so, governments will attract green consumers to purchase EVs while decreasing emissions – leading to an uptick in EV sales overall.

The electric vehicle (EV) sector is expected to become a major contributor to Thailand’s renewable energy and green technology industries, creating new jobs and providing opportunities for the country. To guarantee long-term viability of this market, collaboration between public and private sectors is necessary.