Monday, June 13, 2011

Renewable Energy is Growing in Thailand

Saturday, 04 June 2011 15:08 Banyol Kong Janoi

Photo: Banyol Kong Janoi

Download The Thai government is promising to be the leading nation in South-east Asia when it comes to green energy.
One of the world’s largest solar power plants is being built in Thailand at the moment and should be generating electricity later this year.
Bangkok was the host this week of Clean Power Asia, the largest regional power event which focuses on both renewable and cleaner fossil power.
Energy experts from across the world for there and Banyol Kong Janoi spoke with some of them for Asia Calling.

Investors, engineers, and bankers who are interested in the green technologies development are here at the ‘Clean power Asia’ exhibition.
New green technologies such as biogas treatment plants, solar panels, waste and water treatment plants are on display.
On one stall is Nicole Bihler the marketing manager of Solarzentrum Allgau, a German solar company.
“I think the market here in Thailand is definitely one of the biggest markets in the future as I’ve leant before the second biggest market growing in the world right now. So I see a lot of potential here in Thailand and especially the people, the way to work here is really nice.”
There are many solar companies looking to get access to the Thai market.
The Asia Development Bank has leant up to 70 million dollar to support a local Lopburi solar project in Thailand.  
According to the ADB, this solar project is one of the worlds biggest.
Bihler says the energy of the future must come from renewable sources.
“We should all use what the nature gives us for free, we gonna have the sun forever. I hope so. We gonna have wind forever. Those are resources that we actually use, not going to back to nuclear power which can destroy a country just in seconds.”    
Right now only 12 percent of energy in Thailand comes from renewable energy.
But the government wants to double the amount coming from renewable sources by 2022.
Methar Thongma is a manager of PTT the biggest energy supplier company in Thailand
Speaking at the conference, Mether said this possible if Thailand looks to biogas energy and uses.
Palm oil and rubber industry waste.
Dr Kunn Kangvansaichol is a researcher at PTT.
“From the knowledge, some of applications the renewable technologies can compete with fossil fuel in some area, for example, biomass from existing sugar cane mill or biomass from existing palm oil mill. They can compete because they consider their waste no cost. You can compete it. In Some area, you have to transport natural gas or you have to have infrastructure for transmission line, solar can be competing with the existing technology.”
Francesco Vavarro is a manager from the Steven Leach Group sustainable design company.
He said Southeast Asia countries are still struggling to rely on renewable energy.
“The biggest difficulty we are now facing, doing all of this here in southeast Asia specifically in Thailand, is cost. Still a lot of technologies and material use to build sustainably are new plus there is a lot research and development need to be done which mean there is a lot upfront cost in developing into mature technologies and mature building products. So at this stage we are in, people still try to find out what are the best things to do. And when they find that out, hopefully the cost will go down. Right now, the biggest challenging is to get people to understand the upfront cost that they are paying today, you can gain back overtime in relatively quickly.”
Eva-Maria Schmitt a wind energy consultant in Germany says the cost will go down.
“Now, energy is still cheap. Oil is relatively cheap and nuclear is relatively cheap but 10 years or the later 40 years then all fossil energies are going to be very expensive. And renewable energies are getting cheaper and cheaper. One day, they will be less expensive than fossil energy so the development is going to the direction renewable.”
Francesco says the cost now should be shared.
“Every person should be responsible for the future of our planet.  Sustainability is whether it be in term of resources, renewable energy, or how we live our life, everybody responsibility.  Specific to my company as the people who are creating interior design to build environment is our responsibility to point out and advocate what is the best thing to do in charging our way for better tomorrow.”

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