Floating Solar In The “Land The Land Of Smiles”

The current population of the Kingdom of Thailand is approximately 69.27 million people. In 2018, utilities used natural gas (63%), coal (21%) and renewable energy (16%) to generate electricity in the country. Hydropower and biomass are the primary sources of renewable energy in Thailand.

Thailand’s power plants are heavily dependent on domestic natural gas resources. However, the country is now facing an energy crisis that the rest of the world will face in the foreseeable future. The Thailand Ministry of Energy estimates that the country will deplete its natural gas and oil reserves within the next decade.

To address the looming energy crisis, the country launched the Thailand Integrated Energy Blueprint (TIEB) in 2015. The energy plan set the goal of generating 30% of the country’s electrical power by 2036. Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha is considering raising the renewable energy goal to 40 percent by 2036.

Solar power is now a major component in Thailand’s push to move from fossil fuel to renewable energy. Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) has announced plans to build the world’s largest floating solar parks. The project will launch 16 utility scale solar parks in nine hydroelectric dam reservoirs. The floating solar parks are scheduled to be completed by 2037 and will have a combined capacity of 2,700 MW.

Thailand is faced with a daunting energy crisis. Importing expensive liquefied natural gas (LNG) will devastate the country’s country. Dramatic price increases in fuel or food usually result in political upheaval and rioting in the country. Thailand is in a race against time before the country runs out of natural gas and begins importing expensive LNG.

Fossil fuel is not a renewable resource. At some point in the not too distant future, the world will run out of inexpensive fossil fuels (coal, oil and natural gas). The lesson for America is to accelerate the move from fossil fuels to renewable energy, before demand outstrips supply and prices skyrocket.

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