Renewable energy in Thailand is a developing sector that addresses the country’s present high rate of carbon emissions.[1] Several policies, such as the Thirteenth Plan or the Alternative Energy Development Plan, set future goals for increasing the capacity of renewable energy and reduce the reliance of nonrenewable energy.[2][3] The major sources of renewable energy in Thailand are hydro power, solar power, wind power, and biomass, with biomass currently accounting for the majority of production. Thailand’s growth is hoped to lead to renewable energy cost reduction and increased investment.[4]

Policy and Goals

Thailand currently generates 12 percent of its energy from renewable sources, and the government aims to increase that by 2036 to 37 percent.[4] Oil, natural gas, and coal are still the main sources of energy in the country.[5]

A graph depicting Thailand’s increased gas consumption rates and dependence on gas imports over the past 50 years.

In 2015, Thailand’s Integrated Energy Blueprint enacted the Alternative Energy Development Plan (AEDP) to increase energy produced by solar, wind, hydro, and bioenergy to 30 percent of the total energy by 2036.[2]  As part of the AEDP, Thailand joined the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) in 2015.[6] To improve the development of renewable energy sources, Thailand’s Thirteenth National Economic and Social Development Plan is established to run during a five-year period from 2023 to 2027.[3] Thailand pushes for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by increasing the usage of clean energy so as part of the plan the aim is to reduce 30% of greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.[3] The main goal of the thirteenth plan is to drive economic growth and make Thailand a high-value economy.[3]


Main article: Hydroelectricity in Thailand

In 2016, hydropower accounted for 7% of Thailand’s total renewable energy production, compared to 5% from solar power and 1% from wind.[6] Thailand currently has 26 hydroelectric dams in operation, generating around 3.7GW of energy.[7] The largest of these dams is the Sirindhorn Dam located near the country's eastern border with Laos.[8]

Hydropower capacity 2014–2023 (MW)[9]: 6 
2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
3,608 3,639 3,649 3,649 3,667 3,667 3,670 3,670 3,670 3,670

In the future, the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) plans to build eight hybrid hydro-solar farms and will generate up to 1 GW of electricity.[10][11] These hybrid hydro-solar power plants operate by placing solar panels on top of the existing water reservoir created by the dam. The first of these hybrid hydro-solar dams became operational in 2021 at Sirindhorn Dam with an operational capacity of 45MW.[12]

The first of the eight hydro-solar power plants being built.

In 2022, EGAT reached an agreement with Andritz, an Austrian services and technology company, to expand Thailand’s hydropower industry with new plants and digitalize the current facilities.[13] Thailand currently has a plan to increase the country’s total installed energy capacity by about 40% by 2037, largely through renewable energy sources like hydropower.[13]

Solar energy

Main article: Solar power in Thailand

As Thailand has access to year-round sun, companies like the Solar Power Company Group (SPCG) and Natural Energy Development (NED) began their solar projects in 2010.[14] NED started the project of building the Lopburi Solar Farm, the biggest solar plant funded by both local and financial institutions.[15] By 2012, the farm became a 84 MW photovoltaic power station and by replacing fossil-fuels is set to prevent 1.3 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emission over 25 years. The SPCG also installed two solar farms by the end of 2014 which would help save 200,000 tonnes of CO2 per year.[16]

Solar energy capacity 2014–2023 (MW)[9]: 22 
2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
1,304 1,425 2,451 2,702 2,967 2,988 2,984 3,065 3,185 3,186

Thailand is moving towards achieving its solar power installation target of 2030.[4] By 2013, its solar capacity was ten times more than it was in 2011, and in 2014, the Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century Report noted that Thailand accounted for a dominant share of solar market growth in Southeast Asia.[16] This growth is hoped to lead to reduced costs relating to renewable energy and increased investment.[4]

The hydro-solar project by the EGAT started with the Sirindhorn Dam.[10] The dam now has 144,000 solar panels installed and EGAT aims to produce 2,725 megawatts (30% of Thailand’s power needs) of power from such floating solar farms by the year 2037.[17]

Wind energy

Main article: Wind power in Thailand

3% of Thailand’s renewable energy comes from wind power according to GlobalData.[18] Since 2017, Thailand has had an exponential growth of 70% yearly in wind power installation.[19] Huay Bong 2 and Huay Bong 3 are the top two 103.5 MW wind power projects that started operating in 2013 and 2012.[18] These wind farms were built by the companies Aeolus Power, Chubu Electric Power Korat, KR 2 and RATCH Group in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand.[18]

Wind energy capacity 2014–2023 (MW)[9]: 14 
2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
225 234 507 628 1,103 1,507 1,507 1 545 1,545 1 545

During the first Thailand Wind Energy Roundtable in 2019, the Thailand Wind Energy Association, Global Wind Energy Council, and United States Agency for International Development created a plan for Thailand to increase its wind power capacity.[20] In 2019, Thailand had 1.5 GW of wind power and that brought in $3 billion in investment for wind energy.[20] The new plans included increasing their wind power by at least 7 GW by 2037 which would double the investment and create more jobs in Thailand.[20]

Biomass energy

Of all renewable energy sources in Thailand, biomass energy produces up to 60.7% of the country’s total electricity, 98% of its thermal energy, and nearly 100% of its transportation fuels.[21] Due to its strong agricultural sector, Thailand’s government promotes the domestic production of biomass energy.[2] 80% of Thailand’s biomass energy is derived from agricultural byproducts such as corn husks and byproducts from sugarcane crops.[2][22]

Bioenergy capacity 2014–2023 (MW)[9]: 31 
2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
2,796 3,165 3,322 3,728 4,037 4,097 4,241 4,476 4,603 4,705

Policies and bans on certain fossil fuels have encouraged increased biofuel usage and production. Thailand's 2015 Alternative Energy Development Plan projected a 260% increase in biomass-generated electricity by 2036.[2] The initiative also introduced the addition of ethanol in diesel fuels.[2][21]  The Eleventh National Economic and Social Development Plan was enacted in 2012 to influence the growth of biofuels from 2012 to 2016.[23] Goals of this plan included sourcing biofuels, developing a zero-waste approach, refining existing technologies, and providing food and energy security.[23][24]

See also


  1. ^ Marks, Danny (2011). "Climate Change and Thailand: Impact and Response". Contemporary Southeast Asia. 33 (2): 229–258. doi:10.1355/cs33-2d. ISSN 0129-797X. JSTOR 41288828. S2CID 154835507.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Sitdhiwej, Chacrit (2016-02-01). "Thailand: Renewable Energy Law and Policy in Thailand". Renewable Energy Law and Policy Review. 7 (2): 184–189. doi:10.4337/relp.2016.02.09. ISSN 1869-4942. S2CID 251234947.
  3. ^ a b c d Retrieved 2023-11-09. ((cite web)): Missing or empty |title= (help)
  4. ^ a b c d Overland, Indra; Sagbakken, Haakon Fossum; Chan, Hoy-Yen; Merdekawati, Monika; Suryadi, Beni; Utama, Nuki Agya; Vakulchuk, Roman (2021-12-01). "The ASEAN climate and energy paradox". Energy and Climate Change. 2: 100019. doi:10.1016/j.egycc.2020.100019. hdl:11250/2734506. ISSN 2666-2787.
  5. ^ "Thailand - Countries & Regions". IEA. Retrieved 2023-11-08.
  6. ^ a b "Renewable energy outlook: Thailand - OD Mekong Datahub". Retrieved 2023-11-09.
  7. ^ "Pumping up Thailand's Speed to Energy Transition Through Hydro Storage Solutions | GE News". Retrieved 2023-11-09.
  8. ^ "Sirinthon Dam". Retrieved 2023-11-09.
  9. ^ a b c d IRENA, International Renewable Energy Agency (2024). "RENEWABLE CAPACITY STATISTICS 2024" (PDF). Retrieved 20 May 2024.
  10. ^ a b "Thailand's new solar plants to float on dams and reservoirs". OpenGov Asia. 2019-03-05. Retrieved 2023-11-09.
  11. ^ "Thailand's EGA to facilitate 1GW of floating solar on hydro dams". OpenGov Asia. 2018-11-19. Retrieved 2023-11-09.
  12. ^ Garanovic, Amir (2021-11-10). "World's largest hydro-floating solar hybrid comes online in Thailand". Offshore Energy. Retrieved 2023-11-09.
  13. ^ a b AG, ANDRITZ. "ANDRITZ and EGAT cooperate on joint development and modernization of hydropower business". Retrieved 2023-11-09.
  14. ^ renewableenergyworldcontentteam (2012-04-10). "Thailand Joins the Solar Fast Lane". Renewable Energy World. Retrieved 2023-11-09.
  15. ^ "Thailand's first large-scale solar power plant has been operating successfully for 4 years now". Retrieved 2023-11-09.
  16. ^ a b Retrieved 2023-11-09. ((cite web)): Missing or empty |title= (help)
  17. ^ "Floating solar farm puts Thailand on track towards carbon neutrality". euronews. 2022-03-11. Retrieved 2023-11-09.
  18. ^ a b c kgi-admin (2023-03-20). "Wind power capacity in Thailand and major projects". Power Technology. Retrieved 2023-11-09.
  19. ^ Vangtook, Jarudate Vorasee, Panu Suwicharcherdchoo, Prapapong (2023-05-10). "Thailand Harnesses Wind Energy Potential". T&D World. Retrieved 2023-11-09.((cite web)): CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  20. ^ a b c "Wind power industry calls for additional 7 GW of wind energy to be installed in Thailand by 2037 | REVE News of the wind sector in Spain and in the world". 2019-12-13. Retrieved 2023-11-09.
  21. ^ a b Wang, Wen; Porninta, Kritsadaporn; Aggarangsi, Pruk; Leksawasdi, Noppol; Li, Lianhua; Chen, Xiaoyan; Zhuang, Xinshu; Yuan, Zhenhong; Qi, Wei (2021-01-01). "Bioenergy development in Thailand based on the potential estimation from crop residues and livestock manures". Biomass and Bioenergy. 144: 105914. Bibcode:2021BmBe..14405914W. doi:10.1016/j.biombioe.2020.105914. ISSN 0961-9534. S2CID 230573005.
  22. ^ Suanmali, S.; Limmeechokchai, B. (2013-07-31). "The Assessment of Biofuel Utilization Policy on the Total Output and CO2Emissions in Thailand". Journal of Engineering, Project, and Production Management. 3 (2): 57–64. doi:10.32738/jeppm.201307.0002. ISSN 2221-6529.
  23. ^ a b Sitdhiwej, Chacrit (2016). "Renewable Energy Law and Policy in Thailand". Renewable Energy Law and Policy Review. 7 (2): 184–189. doi:10.4337/relp.2016.02.09. ISSN 1869-4942. JSTOR 26256498. S2CID 251234947.
  24. ^ "Thailand Eleventh National Economic and Social Development Plan (2012-2016) | Green Policy Platform". Retrieved 2023-11-09.

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