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Keynote Speech: POWER-GEN Asia and Renewable Energy World Asia 2012

Speech for Dr.Norkun Sitthiphong, Permanent Secretary of Energy, Ministry of Energy

POWER-GEN Asia and Renewable Energy World Asia
3 October 2012
Challenger Hall 1 at IMPACT Exhibition & Convention Centre



Energy Industry Professionals,

Distinguished Participants,
Ladies and gentlemen

The Ministry of Energy of Thailand is honored to welcome distinguished participants to POWER-GEN Asia and Renewable Energy World Asia 2012, of which the Ministry of Energy is delighted to support and I would like to congratulate PennWell on reaching the 20th anniversary of POWER-GEN Asia.

We are pleased to see POWER-GEN Asia and Renewable Energy World Asia return to Bangkok as the event was last held in 2009. We have noticed some great challenges in the region; the economic development and natural disasters in 2011 that had impact on the central region of Thailand, the Fukushima earthquake that has altered nuclear energy policies in the region.

Thailand has limited oil and coal reserves. We import more than 80% of our crude oil. Additionally, we are the second largest net oil importer in Southeast Asia. Thailand has proven oil reserves of about 214 million barrels while natural gas makes up the bulk of our energy supply. Most of our natural gas fields based offshore with the proven reserves of around 10 trillion cubic feet.

The domestic natural gas production meets 75 per cent of domestic demand, with much of the rest of supply from Myanmar and imported LNG. Our biggest challenge is to meet the growing demand in the years to come.

In term of coal in 2011, Thailand consumed 35.3 million tonnes of coal, of which or 66 per cent (23.3 million tonnes) were used for power generation. This marked a 7.8 per cent growth rate. With the growing economy, this will lead to the rise of coal demand accordingly.

Given the importance of coal utilization and clean coal technology, there is ongoing ASEAN cooperation to intensify cooperative partnership in order to promote and utilization of coal and cleaner coal technology and facilitate intra-ASEAN coal related issues, such as enhancing the public image of clean coal and exploring an ASEAN agreement on coal supply and trading for regional energy security.

These challenges have helped shaping the energy policies of the Ministry of Energy, Thailand. As a nation we look to become more self-sufficient and secure with our indigenous energy requirements.

The stable energy policies are the key factor to support large-scale investments in energy sector such as the Trans ASEAN Gas Pipeline and ASEAN Power Grids. There is a need to harmonize the regulation and technical standards to make connectivity function correctly. The ongoing extensive cooperation to facilitate the implementation and realisation of the Trans-ASEAN Gas Pipeline Infrastructure Projects and LNG has been the key topic in the latest ASEAN ENERGY MINISTER meeting in Cambodia.

The Ministry of Energy has endeavoured to search for more energy sources to strengthen Thailand’s energy security.

One solution to the challenge is Renewable Energy. Thailand as an agricultural country with plenty of agricultural waste and natural resources has an active renewable energy plans, with the Ministry of Energy’s Alternative Energy Development Plan (AEDP) aiming to increase the share of alternative energy mix from 9 to 25 percent.

It is expected that by 2021, about 9,200 MW of power generation capacity will be from renewable energy. The key contributors are Biomass, Biogas and Municipal Solid Waste (MSW), making up to 50 per cent of the power generation from renewable energy in 2021.

Investment in renewable energy is a goal for replacing imported oil, and increasing energy security for the country. The implementation of AEDP is underway covering renewable energy technologies ranging from solar, wind, hydro, bio-energy, and new energy resources to provide heat, electricity and oil replacement in transport sector.

The Ministry of Energy has employed a number of schemes and incentives to encourage renewable energy development. These schemes include tax incentives, investment grants, Energy Soft Loans and the ‘Adder’ feed-in premiums to support private investments and community participation.

The investment in renewable energy can greatly contribute to the energy supply needed. We are delighted that POWER-GEN Asia and Renewable Energy World Asia provide the industry with the opportunity to learn from each other to build a better and more efficient power sector.

Electricity demand in Thailand over the last decade has increased by 4.9 per cent per year and is expected to maintain the growth rate as our economy gains strength.

In this regard, power grid development is necessary to supply the growing demand. Thailand is also interested in Smart Grid Technology in order to provide efficiency, security, reliability and international standards of power quality to meet customer needs in the 21st century.

We really find ourselves in an interesting, yet challenging period of time. Energy Security is important to sustain growth and prosperity in this region. Investment in fossil fuel and renewable energy infrastructure is always a topic of discussion; a discussion in which we will be joining here this week.

It is really a great opportunity to all of us to be here in Bangkok today at this important event with the gathering of key power industry professionals. This has also helped shaping the theme of this year conference “Towards a Secure and Clean Energy Future”, which I believe every country in the region is striving or aims to strive towards.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I would like to reiterate that with our concerted efforts from both public and private sector especially on the research and development collaboration. We will be able to overcome those challenges surrounded us and can bring the sustainable growth to our energy sector and the economy in the years to come.

Thank you very much for your kind attention.

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