Conclusions and Reflections

Two energy projects were analyzed and compared in relation to national Thai objectives: the planned coal-fired power station at Prachuap Khiri Khan (reference) and the Biomass, Energy Efficiency, and Micro Hydro Power alternative (alternative). The feasibility study showed that the proposed alternative in all aspects was equal to or better than the reference. The alternative was noticeably better in terms of economic import costs, contribution to Thailand's GDP, creation of employment, contribution to public revenue, contribution to rural economy, contribution to technology development, and environment, whereas the alternative was almost equal to the reference in terms of economic production costs. The main economic results are summarized in Table 7.11.

The feasibility study of the Prachuap Khiri Khan power station had three main implications for technological innovation in the Thai energy sector. First, it enabled energy planning to link with broader aspects of sustainable development and national development goals. Therefore, energy planning was no longer recognized as a stand-alone exercise that aimed only to meet system demand and reliability with the old technological system. The study stressed very clearly the importance of pursuing an intersectoral policy. Second, it raised public awareness of the potential benefits of renewable energy development in the longer term and broader perspective, especially the social benefits that had previously been subject to little discussion in Thai society. The increasing public awareness urged the Thai government to introduce more programs that supported renewable energy development. In 2001, the Thai government developed a strategic plan for renewable energy. Two years

TABLE 7.11 Summary of Main Economic and Employment Results

Main Economic Results (Billion Baht) Reference

Alternative

Difference

Economic costs 152

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