The 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) set forth crucial agenda and missions for people around the world at the turn of a new decade.
The collaborative spirit of the participating nations illustrates the heightened international awareness of global warming, which has had increasingly greater impact on daily life. As for Thailand, topics of concern cover a full range of environmental issues, particularly the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions – a problem that can only be fully addressed with the collaboration of government agencies, private organizations, and the general public.
Greenhouse Gases in Thailand:
Action Plans for GHG Reduction
Thailand emits approximately 354 million tons of carbon dioxide per year. The primary source of these emissions is the energy sector, which contributes around 253 million tons of carbon dioxide per year or around 70% of Thailand’s emissions. According to a 2018 Climate Watch data, Thailand ranked number 20 among the world’s highest GHG contributors, releasing 0.8% of the world’s total GHG emissions.
In response, Thailand’s Nationally Determined Contribution Action Plan 2021-2030 has been drawn up for the energy sector, specifically with regard to energy and transportation. This action plan seeks to achieve goals by enhancing power generation efficiency, producing electricity from renewable energy, improving the efficiency of renewable energy consumption in households, buildings, industries, and transportation, and most importantly, by maximizing the proportion of renewable energy consumption against electricity.
Thai Solar Energy and SCGC:
A foundation of renewable energy towards sustainability
Thai Solar Energy Public Company Limited (TSE) seeks to generate clean energy to meet the demand in Thailand and Southeast Asia. With a renewable energy vision and long-standing strength in the solar energy business, TSE has the capabilities to bring the attention of Thailand and the region to the significance of energy from natural sources and advance innovation towards international standards.
Remarking on climate change, Cathleen Maleenont, Ed.D., Chairman of Thai Solar Energy Public Company Limited, said, “Climate Emergency is a critical issue. As the world’s temperature is rising, we believe that what we are doing will help alleviate the situation. We have also been closely monitoring and working to reduce the ever-increasing greenhouse gas emissions.”
Similarly, in pursuit of its goal of becoming a “Chemicals Business for Sustainability,” SCG Chemicals (SCGC), an expert on innovative plastics and engineering, has designed and invented pontoons for floating solar farms. Durable and resistant to various weather patterns all year round, these pontoons have proven they can be deployed in actual industrial settings, and based on them, SCGC Floating Solar Solutions have been developed.
SCGC Floating Solar Solutions:
Renewable energy-based solutions for sustainable reduction of GHG emissions
Describing the origin of this innovation against global warming, Suracha Udomsak, Ph.D., Chief Innovation Officer and Executive Vice President – New Business, SCG Chemicals, said, “SCGC considered what solutions it had that could address the needs of society. Thailand is an agricultural country, and indispensable to farming are reservoirs and dams. As an expert in plastic with capabilities of molding the material into various shapes, SCGC believed it would beneficial to develop floating solar farms and take advantage of unused water surfaces. That was how SCGC got started in this area.”
Made with plastic resin mixed with a UV stabilizer that gives it weather resistance for outdoor use, SCGC’s pontoon has been designed to allow for various installation configurations, easy maintenance, and resistance to sunlight and rugged weather. The pontoon is also eco-friendly as it leaves 30% of the water surface under it exposed and is recyclable.
“To be honest, the best floating solar solutions in Thailand right now for us belong to SCGC. As a supplier of solar farm pontoon, their design is strong, durable, and can be used outdoors. That is why we have chosen solar farm components from SCGC,” Cathleen added.
To reduce GHG emissions in Thailand, it is vital that all sectors collaborate, from government agencies, entrepreneurs, manufacturers, business owners, all the way to the general public, who must be active and ready to learn about clean energy. Most importantly, service providers must be equipped to provide consultation on transitioning to clean energy and suggest solutions for diverse individual needs.
With all of this in place, Thailand will be equipped to work towards its second-phase target of reducing GHG emissions to 111-130 tons of carbon by 2030 and the net-zero goal by 2050 in as pledged by the signatory countries of the Paris Agreement.
“We can all contribute by using energy efficiently and reducing unnecessary energy consumption. These are something that we can all start doing right away. Today is the best day to start. There is no need to wait until tomorrow,” Suracha concluded.