During a recent election campaign, Varawut Silpa-archa highlighted the importance of embracing renewable energy solutions to decrease Thailand’s dependence on imported fuels. He emphasized the necessity of developing a more efficient and sustainable battery system for the storage and distribution of renewable energy generated from solar and wind sources.
As the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Varawut stressed that the new government must work on streamlining regulations, making it easier for the public to sell surplus electricity back to the government. He acknowledged the current regulations as being overly complicated, with too many conditions and an excessively long application process.
The country’s reliance on imported fuels to produce electricity accounts for 70% of the current electricity cost. By shifting towards renewable energy solutions, it is likely that not only will the country’s energy independence increase, but electricity costs for consumers may also decrease.
In addition to the focus on renewable energy, Varawut also highlighted the need to address the issue of compensation paid by the government to private power producers. When the government does not purchase a specific amount of electricity during an agreed-upon period, compensation is given to the producers. Addressing this issue could involve discussing the possibility of reducing the compensation rate, or prolonging the contract period, ultimately decreasing the state’s financial burden.
Taking into consideration the predicted increase in extreme heat due to the El Nino phenomenon and accelerating climate change, Varawut underscored the urgency for the new government to create a plan to reduce power bills for the public. He suggested that implementing a 50-50 solar rooftop scheme would be an effective short-term solution to address the predicted rise in energy consumption.
Chart Thai Pattana, the political party that Varawut is a part of, is aiming to be included in the government coalition by earning at least 17 MP seats in the upcoming election. This would consist of 12 seats from constituencies and an additional five from the party-list system. With a focus on renewable energy, efficient battery systems, and streamlined regulations, Varawut and his party are driving forward an agenda that aims to reduce Thailand’s dependence on imported fuels and prioritize sustainability.