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New Thai Government Urged to Review and Modify Energy Policies

Thailand’s new Prime Minister-elect Yingluck Shinawatra is being urged to review the country’s energy policies.

Thailand’s current energy sources are a mixture of everything from hydroelectric facilities to coal-fired thermal stations. It has now emerged that outgoing Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva was secretly opposed to nuclear energy, but only felt secure enough politically to oppose it publicly after the 11 March Fukushima nuclear crisis in Japan, the Bangkok Post reported.

A significant percentage of Thailand’s electricity is provided by state-run firms like the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat), and the firm has developed a number of big power hydroelectric projects and are other initiatives that are outside of Thai territory to include Laos and Burma in the near future.

Despite these accomplishments, critics concur that the country clearly has no real energy policy, except expedience, and that the new administration should develop a comprehensive energy policy to replace the ad hoc measures adopted up to now. Among the elements advocated to broaden the country’s energy generating options are the use of indigenous natural gas and coal resources to fuel electricity generators for the foreseeable future, but a shortcoming to the use of natural gas is that domestic production has turned out to be erratic.

Coal faces significant grassroots opposition, with violence erupting in the south of the country simply over plans to install generators powered by coal.

By. Charles Kennedy, Deputy Editor OilPrice.com


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