Planet Calling: Movements towards Energy Transition

Planet Calling-Movements towards Energy Transition

Without a question, the world urgently needs to reduce carbon emissions to limit global warming. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) stated that limiting global warming to 1.5°C will require to the immediate and deep emission reductions in all sectors. This is particularly true for the energy sector, which accounts for the largest volume of carbon emissions among all sectors. Addressing climate change will require changes in both energy demand and supply. 

In response to the global call in the Paris Agreement, more than 70 countries, including the largest emission contributors–China, the United States, and the European Union–have set a net-zero target, covering about 76% of global emissions. Likewise, Thailand’s goal is to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 and net-zero emissions by or before 2065. This includes a new greenhouse gas emission reduction target of 40% in the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) roadmap, announced by Thailand at COP26 in Glasgow last year. Earlier this year, the country has launched the National Energy Plan (NEP) 2022 to help move Thailand towards green and clean energy, with an aggressive plan and measures to achieve pathways to carbon neutrality and net-zero emissions. The NEP includes essential sectoral plans and policies, such as strategies for energy efficiency, renewable energy, gas and oil, and electricity. 

To achieve such goals, both the supply and demand sides require decarbonization of the energy sector.  At the Energy Research Institute (ERI), Chulalongkorn University, a number of studies have been conducted to assist the development of decarbonization strategies for the energy sector.   

On the supply side, a study on “policy implementation for the development of hydrogen production and use to promote renewable energy” was carried out with support from the Energy Policy and Planning Office (EPPO), Ministry of Energy. A customized version of PDP was developed in the study to investigate possible options for reducing emissions in the power sector.  Results show that blending hydrogen into the natural gas streams and implementing other technologies, such as solar power generation with energy storage systems, will assist the country in achieving its carbon neutrality target, while maintaining the nation’s energy security (Diewvilai & Audomvongseree, 2022).  

On the demand side, decarbonization may start with readily available resources.  On that note, a study on switching fuel oil and coal to natural gas in the industrial sector was conducted with support from EPPO. Both the financial and economic feasibility study shows interesting investment opportunities for fuel oil users, located within 50 km from the compressed natural gas distribution center, to switch their fuel to natural gas and liquefied natural gas (LNG). For coal replacement, although the economic feasibility shows an outstanding result, it needs strong measures from the government to encourage the replacement (Nakapreecha et al., 2022). 

Planet Calling: Movements towards Energy Transition

For decarbonization in the long term, since 2020, ERI has been working with Thailand Development Research Institute (TDRI), Agora and New Climate Institute (German think tanks), GIZ, and the Energy Policy and Planning Office (EPPO) Ministry of Energy, as one of the program’s implementers to develop an energy transition pathway in Thailand. Transitioning to a low-emission energy system is critical to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050. The team began working in 2021 on the study “Towards a collective vision of Thai energy transition: National long-term scenarios and socioeconomic implications” (TET2S), which is still ongoing. In order to discuss further on the implications and policy recommendations in this study, EPPO has organized a high-level dialogue this year to serve as a platform for key stakeholders in Thailand’s energy transition process–both energy, and non-energy–to exchange and share expert advice, based on CASE’s TET2S study. The discussion was set up to ensure appropriate policy development in the context of the National Energy Plan (NEP) formulation towards carbon neutrality in the energy sector by 2050. 

One growing trend in Thailand as part of the energy transition is using solar energy to generate electricity. Because solar systems are becoming more affordable, the trend of prosumers installing solar systems in their homes, buildings, or factories to generate and consume their own electricity is expected to grow. This has led to the emergence of a new business model known as peer-to-peer (P2P) energy trading. To take advantage of this opportunity, CU has launched the “Smart City Platform Development and Testing at Chulalongkorn University” project in the ERC Sandbox program to test the operation of P2P energy trading as one of the smart energy components in a smart city platform. This year, CU researchers are working with Blockfint Co. Ltd. to develop the Gideon platform as part of a research and development collaboration. Energy trading on the Gideon platform will focus on non-firm trading of electricity from renewable energy, as well as household or general user level electricity use, with a focus on using electricity for living. Both producers and consumers will be able to buy or sell electricity at a set price. The P2P energy trading model has the potential to build a future electricity market that is strongly community-centric and decentralized energy supply by consuming the excess electricity generated by prosumers in the local area. Once implemented, the model will boost local RE deployment, make green energy more affordable, and provide customers with options that align with community values (Junlakarn et al, 2022). 

Energy efficiency is also essential for meeting decarbonization goals, especially in buildings. In 2021, ERI launched the CU Energy Efficiency Project, with plans to reduce the energy consumption in all buildings on campus. After assessing the energy efficiency of certain equipment, such as air conditioning and lighting, 8 departments were found to have potential to save energy. The high efficiency of air conditioning has reduced energy consumption by approximately 922,066.43 kWh/Y (639.30 Tonne CO2), and LED lighting has reduced energy consumption by approximately 186,259.04 kWh/Y. (129.14 Tonne CO2) Saving potential of approximately 1,108,325.47 kWh/Y and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions of approximately 768.44 Tonne CO2/Y. 

Our planet is calling for us to limit global temperatures and address the climate emergency. By using renewable energy and energy efficiency on both the demand and supply sides, decarbonization can lead to carbon neutrality. Thailand’s carbon neutrality will be determined by today’s decisions and policy actions and to achieve this goal, significant energy sector reforms will be required. This will necessitate major reductions in supply-side fossil fuel usage, widespread electrification, improved demand-side energy efficiency, and the use of alternative energy sources. Climate commitments and integrated energy system planning will build new legislative and market frameworks that will drive down technology costs and enable investment in renewables and other emerging technologies. This way, Thailand’s transition to a low-carbon energy system will benefit the economy, the environment, and humans. 


  • Diewvilai, Radhanon, and Kulyos Audomvongseree. 2022. “Possible Pathways toward Carbon Neutrality in Thailand’s Electricity Sector by 2050 through the Introduction of H2 Blending in Natural Gas and Solar PV with BESS” Energies 15, no. 11: 3979. https://doi.org/10.3390/en15113979 
  • Nakapreecha, N., Vivanpatarakij, S., and Audomvongseree, K. (2022). Feasibility Study of Fuel Oil and Coal Replacement with Natural Gas in Thailand Context. International Journal of Energy Economics and Policy, 12(2), 135–142. https://doi.org/10.32479/ijeep.12715 
  • Junlakarn S, Kokchang P, Audomvongseree K. Drivers and Challenges of Peer-to-Peer Energy Trading Development in Thailand. Energies. 2022; 15(3):1229. https://doi.org/10.3390/en15031229 

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