The escalation in the utilization of Electric Vehicles (EVs) is anticipated to have a profound impact on electricity expenditure, principally during peak times. Rising to the occasion, the National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC) is fast-tracking the headway of a power development scheme intended to enhance capacity to satisfy electricity demand during the high-traffic nighttime hours. This progressive plan has been proposed to the Ministry of Energy for subsequent implementation.
Paving the way, the director-general of the energy policy and planning office, Wattanapong Kurovat, unveiled the NESDC’s economic outlook for 2023 with an optimistic projection of an economic raise ranging from 2.5% to 3%. This auspicious economic proliferation can be attributed to a plethora of elements including the progression in the tourism industry, vibrant private expenditure, and the persistent investments showered from the private and public sectors alike.
As per the NESDC’s prognosis, the electricity demand in 2023 is expected to climb up by 2.4%. The council shared its vigilance in closely monitoring the country’s economic state, global economic tendencies, and energy prices to formulate comprehensive strategies and measures to provide assistance during possible future energy complications.
As it stands today, the electricity generation capacity under contract has been allocated as follows:
– Independent Power Producers securing a solid 32% with a capacity of 17,024 MW
– The Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) comes a close second with 31% and a capacity of 16,237 MW
– Small Power Producers have a respectable 18% with a capacity of 9,303 MW
– Imported electricity accounts for 12% with an impressive capacity of 6,235 MW
– Last, but certainly not the least, Very Small Power Producers or renewable energy make up 8% with a capacity of 4,223 MW
In the first half of 2023, electricity consumption witnessed a rise of 2.2%. This escalation can be attributed to the broadening use of electricity in sectors associated with tourism and services. Electricity utilization in these sectors escalated a substantial 9.3%, particularly in areas such as hotels, apartments, and guesthouses. However, a contrary trend was seen in the industrial sector where electricity demand fell by 3.8%, an effect of the global economic downturn which led to a moderated production scale for exports.
On the domestic front, household electricity consumption surged by a whopping 4.8%. Other sectors, including the likes of non-profit organisations, agricultural pumping, temporary electricity, and public electricity saw a significant 10.5% increase in electricity usage.
The zenith of peak electricity demand for the 2023 system was realized on May 6th at 9.41pm, a new personal best of 34,827 MW. This marked a 5% rise as compared to the last year’s peak. Interestingly, this record-breaking peak occurred during nighttime hours, exceeding all previous levels. Nighttime electricity consumption in the past has been substantial but has never achieved such monumental heights, the earlier peak standing at 28,000 MW.
Venturing forward, the NESDC foresees a remarkable surge in nighttime electricity usage in 2027 as a consequence of the widespread adoption of EVs in Thailand. To pre-empt this, EGAT is sketching out a power development blueprint, which will subsequently be tabled for deliberation to the Ministry of Energy. Post this, the plan will be subject to a public feedback phase before seeking approval in a Cabinet meeting.