Green focus as nation cleans up at Asean energy awards

THAILAND has retained its role as Asean’s clean fuels and renewable champion, taking 25 of the 80 awards presented at the 35th Asean Ministers Meeting in Manila at the weekend.
 Celebrating the Thai victory were companies such as Toyota Thailand, Khao CP, the Stock Exchange of Thailand, Central Pattana, Siam Piwat and EGAT.

“An important achievement at the meeting was the much-anticipated signing of a memorandum of understanding between Thailand, Malaysia and Laos,” said Thai Minister of Energy Anantaporn Kanjanarat.

 The agreement allows Laos to sell 100MW of clean electricity to Malaysia via Thai grids. The load can be sent presently using existing grids and requires no additional state spending. 

 The cross-border LTM (Laos-Thai-Malaysia) pact comes four years after Singapore proposed the plan to buy 100MW from Laos, one of the bloc’s poorest nations that is able to produce electricity at the lowest price because of its hydro capabilities. 

 Almost all of Laos’ power comes from its dams save one coal fired plant built by Thailand two years ago. 

Anantaporn added that Thailand will comfortably reach the Asean plan to have 20 per cent of its energy needs coming from renewables such as solar, wind, water, biogas and other clean sources. 
 “Thailand has already attained 14 per cent from renewables,” he said, ahead of the 10-member bloc’s average of 13 per cent.

 But the Thai feat is impressive as Thais need to reduce CO2 emissions by a much wider amount, as Thailand per capita uses more fossil fuel than its neighbors. 

 The Kingdom has through the past decade burnt 900,000 barrels of oil a day, a quarter of which is wasted on grid locked traffic jams. 

Vietnam burns just 470,000 barrels and the Philippines uses even less, with 390,000 barrels. These two countries have populations of about 100 million compared to Thailand’s 65 million.