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Expanding electricity capacity in Thailand to meet the twin challenges of supply security and environmental protection


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  • Nakawiro, Thanawat
  • Bhattacharyya, Subhes C.
  • Limmeechokchai, Bundit
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    Rapid growth in electricity demand in Thailand is a major challenge for electric utilities trying to ensure adequate supply. Continued reliance on natural gas for power supply makes the supply mix non-diversified and exposes the country to supply risks while a diversification to other fossil fuels imposes additional environmental burdens. To find an acceptable solution to this twin challenge, this paper assesses four scenarios of electricity capacity expansion planning for Thailand for the period between 2011 and 2025 under two different assumptions of fuel prices to reflect the case of international high oil price affecting cost of fuels for power generation in Thailand. It is found that the lowest environmental emissions are obtained from the scenario where power generation is highly dominated by natural gas. In contrast, the least cost electricity generation is achieved from the case if nuclear power plant is added into the Thai power system. Reliance on natural gas for power generation increases the spending on gas purchase as a share of the gross domestic product (GDP)--between 2.38% and 3.61% of (GDP). In addition, fuel import dependence, particularly for natural gas and coal, increases exposing the country to possible price volatility.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Energy Policy.

    Volume (Year): 36 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 6 (June)
    Pages: 2265-2278

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:36:y:2008:i:6:p:2265-2278

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    1. Williams, J.H. & Ghanadan, R., 2006. "Electricity reform in developing and transition countries: A reappraisal," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 815-844.
    2. Chirarattananon, Surapong & Nirukkanaporn, Supattana, 2006. "Deregulation of ESI and privatization of state electric utilities in Thailand," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(16), pages 2521-2531, November.
    3. Santisirisomboon, Jerasorn & Limmeechokchai, Bundit & Chungpaibulpatana, Supachart, 2001. "Impacts of biomass power generation and CO2 taxation on electricity generation expansion planning and environmental emissions," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(12), pages 975-985, October.
    4. Shrestha, Ram M. & Marpaung, Charles O. P., 2005. "Supply- and demand-side effects of power sector planning with demand-side management options and SO2 emission constraints," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 815-825, April.
    5. Nakawiro, Thanawat & Bhattacharyya, Subhes C., 2007. "High gas dependence for power generation in Thailand: The vulnerability analysis," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(6), pages 3335-3346, June.
    6. Shrestha, Ram M. & Marpaung, Charles O. P., 1999. "Supply- and demand-side effects of carbon tax in the Indonesian power sector: an integrated resource planning analysis," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 185-194, April.
    7. Shrestha, Ram M & Shrestha, Rabin & Bhattacharya, S C, 1998. "Environmental and electricity planning implications of carbon tax and technological constraints in a developing country," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(7), pages 527-533, June.
    8. Limmeechokchai, Bundit & Suksuntornsiri, Pawinee, 2007. "Assessment of cleaner electricity generation technologies for net CO2 mitigation in Thailand," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 315-330, February.
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    Cited by:
    1. Kalampalikas, Nikolaos G. & Pilavachi, Petros A., 2010. "A model for the development of a power production system in Greece, Part I: Where RES do not meet EU targets," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(11), pages 6499-6513, November.


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