INTERNATIONAL ENERGY JOURNALVolume 20, No. 02, Month JUNE, Year 2020, Pages 101 - 114
An assessment of the impacts of renewable energy policies on the thai electricity generation sector
Supannika Wattana, Buncha Wattana
Abstract Download PDFThis paper aims to assess the implications of an increased electricity generation from renewable energy on the Thai electricity generation sector with a particular focus on energy security and CO2 emissions mitigation potentials. For this purpose, three scenarios (REF, AEDP2015 and AEDP2018), developed in this paper, represent penetration levels of electricity generated from renewable energy. The implications have been analyzed through the application of LEAP model for the period 2018–2037. The analyses revealed that high penetrations of renewable energy would have positive impacts on the Thai electricity generation from several perspectives including improving the diversification of electricity supply, decreasing fossil fuel imports for generating electricity, less dependency on fossil fuel, environmentally friendly power generation, utilizing agricultural wastes, and build-up of local capabilities in electricity generation. Moreover, the energy transition due to disruptive innovations would make renewable energy more attractive. However, the transition would raise several challenges for the Thai electricity system, for example, capital-intensive investment, centralized electricity system, traditional regulatory framework and a lack of social involvement. In order to address the transitional challenges, the Thai government has initiated a number of policies including the upgrade of the grid to smart grid, the development of energy storage and the revision of the regulations to support local energy business. In addition to the initiation of the government’s policies, this paper suggests that a structural change in the form of a separation between generation and transmission functions of the state electric utility, the development of new infrastructure and network regulation, and collaborations among stakeholders by increasing more participation and governance as well as aligning regulatory arrangement taking into account more on social objectives would provide a robust pathway to efficiently integrate renewable energy into the Thai electricity system.
Alternative Energy Development Plan, electricity sector, LEAP model, renewable energy, Thailand.