• By 2037, Thailand will plan to add more than 56 GW of new power generation capacity to meet 77.21 GW target under its PDP 2018 approved by the cabinet
  • Out of 46.09 GW of operational electricity capacity at the end of 2017, Thailand plans to retire 25.31 GW during the period PDP 2018 will be operational
  • Natural gas should contribute 53% share by 2037 in the country’s energy supply, followed by renewables adding 20% and coal another 12%

The Thai government has put the country on the path to achieving 77,211 MW of total electricity capacity by 2037. This means, by the target year, Thailand must add 56,431 MW of new capacity to the current deployment.

Thailand’s cabinet has officially approved the country’s Power Development Plan 2018-2037 (PDP 2018) under which new capacity expansion was given the green signal. According to government spokesperson Nathporn Chatusripitak, Thailand’s power generation capacity at the end of 2017 was 46.09 GW, out of which 25.31 GW will be retired between 2018 and 2037, reported Bangkok Post.

In addition, Thailand will also focus on smart grid infrastructure network development. If all moves as per plan, in 2037 Thailand should have natural gas providing the bulk of this capacity with a 53% share, renewables accounting for 20%, coal claiming 12%, and the remainder coming from other sources, including imports. The specific share of solar was not disclosed.

Calling the new PDP a critical milestone, Chen-Sheng Hong, a Research Associate at Taiwan-ASEAN Studies Center in Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research, an economic think tank in Taipei, said renewable energy projects will account for 20,766 MW out of 56,431 MW, or about 37%.

In a March 9, 2019 post on The Diplomat, Hong explained, “Regarding the capacity for renewable energy generation, Thailand’s solar energy accounts for about 3,300 MW, which has more than doubled since 2014 and is halfway toward its 2036 solar target of 6,000 MW. Notably, Thailand’s solar capacity accounts for more than 60% of the total installed capacity in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Though Thailand’s wind capacity is not as large as that for solar, it is over 600 MW, which is a fifth of its 2036 wind target of 3,000 MW.”

In its 2016 report on the PV market of Thailand, German Development Agency GIZ said the country had 2,021 MW of solar power installed at the end of 2015, which it plans to increase to 6 GW by 2036. According to the Alternative Energy Development Plan 2015-2036 (AEDP-2015), approved by the National Energy Policy Council in September 2015, the national target for renewable energy capacity was aimed to be 19,684.4 MW or 30% share in final energy consumption by 2036 (see GIZ Report On PV In Thailand). Now, it has been replaced with PDP 2018.

In March 2019, Bloomberg said Thai Electricity Generating Authority will procure 2.7 GW of floating solar power capacity through competitive auctioning (see Thailand Plans World’s Largest Floating PV Capacity).