The Government of Thailand has outlined a clear and consistent role for natural gas in the current and future energy mix as a cornerstone of the country’s energy ambitions to establish itself as a regional LNG hub. Natural gas is central to the development of national policies covering energy security, economic development and reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
In 2020, 43% of Thailand’s primary energy came from natural gas – historically the majority of Thailand’s gas supply has come from domestic offshore production or via pipeline from Myanmar but as domestic resources decline it’s increasingly relying on imports from Qatar, Indonesia, Peru and Nigeria. Oil accounted for 37% of the energy mix and coal 14%, with renewables not measured due to incomplete data. Natural gas generated more than 64% of Thailand’s electricity in 2020 with renewables contributing more than 14%.
At COP 27 Thailand submitted a revised emissions reductions target of 30-40% by 2030, while reiterating its commitment to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 and net zero emissions by 2065.
Thailand’s accompanying Long Term Low Greenhouse Gas Emission Development Strategy forecasts renewables making up 68% of the country’s energy mix by 2040 and 74% by 2050 if these targets are to be met.
Thailand’s existing Alternative Energy Development Plan had outlined aims to increase the use of renewables in the primary energy mix to 30% by 2037 from its current low base. The plan focused on using renewables for power generation, heat generation and biofuel production. It set targets for developing community power plants at 1,933 MW, biomass power plants at 600 MW, biogas power plants at 183 MW, wastewater power plants at 600 MW and hybrid energy sources from solar-biomass-biogas at 550 MW.
The plan develops and promotes the use of solar greenhouses, solar-powered fish farm management systems, fast-growing trees for biomass production, and increases the use of wastewater to produce biogas for heat and electricity generation.