Krabi Goes Green

Thammasat University, by researchers from Sirindhorn International Institute of Technology, led a research team whose members include not only academics but also non-governmental organizations, local administrative organizations, and communities, to study a city model run by renewable energy. The report provides policy recommendations for sustainability transition in the energy sector in Krabi province and the Southern region of Thailand.

Please see the full report here:

Executive Summary

Renewable energy development is strongly associated with some of the key Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the United Nations in 2015. This report aims to show the results and findings of a study done on electricity consumption and genera- tion plans in Thailand’s Krabi Province during the next 20 years (2018-2037). The report attempts to prove that it is possible for Krabi to build an electricity supply system based completely on renewable energies in the near future.

In the analyses leading to the preparation of this report, the electricity generation potential of five renewable energy sources, namely modern biomass, biogas, solar, wind, and mini-hydropower were studied, based on which an electricity generation plan was formulated using a systematic and an evidence-based approach. The analysis consists of two parts: (1) Hourly demand of electricity over a one week period of each month for 20 years (2018-2037) (2) Capacity to deliver the hourly supply of electricity over the same period from each of the renewable sources.

The following assumptions were con- sidered for the study: (1) The grid operator
is capable of planning and controlling the electricity generation of all power plants in Krabi (2) Excess electricity energy can always be exported to nearby provinces (3) There is decisive political will, supportive government policies and regulations on renewable energy, and (4) The electricity grid has no limitations on energy carrying capacity.

The study projects a total electricity generation potential of 1,676 MW (installed capacity) from all five renewable energy sources. An hourly simulation of electricity generation shows that Krabi will achieve it’s 100% renewable energy goal by 2026, provided that the renewable energy development is well supported at its suitable growth rate. By 2021, Krabi will start to be 100% dependent on renewable energy for at least two hours a day.

Despite the fact that the total annual costs of renewable energy generation and energy efficiency scenario is higher than that of coal or natural gas during the initial period, it is considerably lower when taking into account a cost-benefit projection over a long term of 20 years.

By adopting a 100% renewable energy province-wide model of sustainability, Krabi can benefit at both socio-economic and environmental fronts including lower import burden, a higher contribution to economic growth, higher employment, as well as lower GHG emission.

Krabi’s successful transition to an electricity supply system based on renewable energies will require a pragmatic public policy that (1) Prioritises renewable energy to be fed into the grid prior to the fossil energy counterpart (2) Incentivising renewable energy at a proper rate that balances the electricity cost regulation and investment (3) Reorienting the state enterprises related to electricity generation systems to espouse a renewable energy mindset and (4) Development and modernisation of smart grids and efficient electricity management systems at grid level.

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