The power, transport and industry sectors represent the lion’s share of the energy sector emissions.
The electricity sector is dominated by fossil fuels. Fossil gas comprised 66% of the power mix in 2020, whereas coal represented 20%. Renewable energy currently represents just 16% of the power mix, and it mainly comes from biofuels. Solar and wind have begun to penetrate the power market in recent years although their share remains low (4%). Hydropower made up a 2% share in 2020.
Thailand’s Power Development Plan (PDP) 2018 foresees fossil gas to represent 53% of power generation by 2037 with coal making up 12% and 9% planned to come from imported hydropower., The plan also indicates that renewable energy capacity will increase to 37% of the planned new power capacities. The previous PDP set targets for 2036 and the revised version sets them for 2037. In comparison to the previous PDP, Thailand plans to increase its reliance on gas (from 37% to 53%) and decrease its reliance on coal (from 23% to 12%).
Transport was responsible for the largest share of energy consumption in 2018 (39%), and was responsible for 20% of Thailand’s total emissions in 2016 (excl. LULUCF). Thailand aims to decarbonise transport through a CO2 emissions tax, promoting low carbon vehicles and expanding rail infrastructure. Thailand has an electric vehicle (EV) roadmap, with a goal to become an EV manufacturing hub for the region, and for 100% of new vehicle sales to be EVs by 2035.
The Energy Efficiency Plan (EEP 2018-2037) aims for a 30% reduction in energy intensity (energy use per unit of GDP) by 2037 from 2010 level.
Thailand is increasingly reliant on coal, oil and fossil gas imports, which makes it highly dependent on international markets and creates energy insecurity and fuel price risks. Renewable energy offers an opportunity for domestic energy production., However, hydropower developments in the Mekong River basin, with close to 52 million people depending on it for their livelihoods, could negatively impact biodiversity, livelihoods and economies of the local communities.