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Forget Everything You Know! Thailand’s Power Surge Sends Shockwaves: Unforeseen Electric Demand Revolution on Horizon!

In the wake of increased adoption of electric vehicles (EVs), a significant surge in electricity consumption, particularly during peak hours, is expected. To combat this imminent challenge, the National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC) is expediting the evolution of a developmental plan for power generation. This plan, currently under consideration for implementation by the Ministry of Energy, will enhance the ability to cater to the peak electrical demands during nighttime hours.

The Director General of the Energy Policy and Planning Office, Wattanapong Kurovat, painted an optimistic economic picture for the year 2023 according to the NESDC’s forecast. He projected the economy to expand within the bracket of 2.5% to 3%. A potpourri of contributing factors like resurgent tourism, substantial private consumption, and continuous public and private sector investments manifest into this positive economic upturn.

The forecast reveals an expected upturn in the electricity demand by approximately 2.4% in 2023. Keeping a keen eye on developing global economic trends, the nation’s economical situation, and shifting energy pricing patterns, the NESDC strives to develop strategies and measures. These will be beneficial in aiding individuals during any prospective energy crises.

The contractually obligated electricity generation capacity is allocated as follows:

  • Independent Power Producers contribute to an impressive 32%, equating to a capacity of 17,024 MW.
  • The Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) chips in with 31%, amounting to a capacity of 16,237 MW.
  • Small Power Producers pitch in 18% of the total, registering a capacity of 9,303 MW.
  • Imports account for 12%, showcasing a capacity of 6,235 MW.
  • Finally, Very Small Power Producers or renewable energy cap it off at 8% with a globally commendable capacity of 4,223 MW.

In the first half of 2023, there was an observable increase in electricity consumption by 2.2%. This growth can primarily be credited to the constant growth of electricity usage in service and tourism-related sectors. The power consumption bolstered by 9.3% in these sectors. This rise was noticeable in segments such as hotels, guesthouses, and apartments. Converse to this, industrial sector power usage declined by 3.8%, mainly due to the global economic deceleration, leading to curtailed production aimed at exports.

Household electricity consumption noted a boost of 4.8%, while other sectors, including non-profit organizations, agriculture, temporary electricity, public electricity, and so on, bore witness to an incredible increment of 10.5% in power usage.

In 2023, the highest system peak electricity demand occurred on May 6th, at 9.41 pm, reaching a never-before-seen level of 34,827 MW. This showed an overnight growth of 5% when compared with the previous peak demand. The most striking fact is that this record-shattering peak occurred during nighttime hours, surpassing all previous records. The previous peak stood at a substantially lower 28,000 MW.

As we move forward, the NESDC predicts a considerable surge in nighttime electricity use, specifically in 2027, attributable to the widespread induction of EVs in Thailand. With an aim to circumvent this situation, EGAT is on the path of sketching out a power development plan. Post its consideration by the Ministry of Energy, the plan will be open to public feedback and then forwarded for final approval in a Cabinet meeting.

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