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Brace Yourselves! Incoming Power Crisis: Thai Council’s Frantic Race to Tackle Predicted Mega Surge in Electricity Demand – Unveiling Nighttime Chaos!

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The burgeoning adoption of Electric Vehicles (EVs) is poised to exert a substantial strain on electricity consumption, particularly during hours of peak demand. To preemptively handle this impending issue, the National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC) is speeding up the development of a strategic power enhancement plan. It is purposed towards increasing the capacity to handle the anticipated surge in evening electricity demand. This proposed plan is currently on the desk of the Ministry of Energy, awaiting implementation.

The director-general of the energy policy and planning office, Wattanapong Kurovat, provided invaluable insights regarding the NESDC’s economic forecast for 2023. His projections showcased a noticeable economic expansion in the range of 2.5% to 3%. Several pivotal factors can be attributed to this positive economic growth, including the resurgence of the tourism sector, buoyant private consumption, and consistent investment flow from both public and private sectors.

The NESDC’s projections reveal an expected increase in electricity demand by 2.4% in 2023. The council is keeping a vigilant eye on several factors, including the nation’s economic conditions, global economic trends, and energy pricing, to construct viable strategies and measures that will be instrumental in assisting citizens in the events of future energy crises.

At present, the contractual electricity generation distribution stands as follows:

– Independent Power Producers account for 32%, with a capacity of 17,024 MW.

– The Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) contributes 31%, with a capacity of 16,237 MW.

– Small Power Producers furnish 18%, with a capacity of 9,303 MW.

– Imported power constitute 12%, with a capacity of 6,235 MW.

– Very Small Power Producers or renewable energy sources form 8%, with a capacity of 4,223 MW.
The first six months of 2023 marked a 2.2% rise in electricity consumption. This growth is primarily due to the increased electric power usage in sectors related to tourism and services. Electric power consumption within these sectors soared by an impressive 9.3%, mainly in business segments including hotels, apartments, and guesthouses. Despite this growth, electric power consumption experienced a 3.8% drop in the industrial sector due to the global economic deceleration that resulted in scaled-down production for export.

Electric power usage among households registered a 4.8% increase, while other sectors encompassing non-profit organizations, agricultural pumping, temporary power supplies, and public electric utilities, witnessed a noteworthy 10.5% surge in electricity usage.

In 2023, the highest ever electricity demand peaked on May 6th at 9.41 pm, reaching a record level of 34,827 MW. This represented a 5% increase from the previous year’s peak. Significantly, this record-breaking peak occurred during the nighttime, surpassing all prior levels. Nighttime electricity consumption, though significant in the past, had never soared to such an extent; with the last record peak standing at a significantly lower 28,000 MW. 

Looking into the future, the NESDC predicts a significant spike in nighttime electricity usage by 2027, propelled by the broad acceptance and usage of EVs across Thailand. In anticipation of this, EGAT is formulating a comprehensive power development plan. This plan, once finalized, will be submitted for review to the Ministry of Energy and will be subjected to a public feedback phase before it seeks the final seal of approval at a Cabinet meeting.

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