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Impacts of Solar Electricity Generation on the Thai Electricity Industry

1Solar Energy and Energy Resources Research Unit, Faculty of Engineering, Mahasarakham University, Kantarawichai, Mahasarakham, 44150, Thailand

2Faculty of Engineering, Mahasarakham University, Kantarawichai, Mahasarakham, 44150, Thailand

Received: 30 Aug 2021; Revised: 15 Oct 2021; Accepted: 26 Oct 2021; Available online: 3 Nov 2021; Published: 1 Feb 2022.
Editor(s): Soulayman Soulayman
Open Access Copyright (c) 2022 The Authors. Published by Centre of Biomass and Renewable Energy (CBIORE)
Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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Abstract

This paper analyses the impacts of electricity generation from solar energy on the Thai electricity industry. In this paper, three scenarios (REF, Solar2015 and Solar2018) are developed to represent an increased levels of electricity produced from solar energy. A Low Emissions Analysis Platform (LEAP) model is employed, in this paper, to assess the impacts for the period 2019–2037. This paper assesses and analyses the scenario impacts in terms of diversification of electricity generation, fossil fuel requirement and emissions of CO2 and SO2. The analysis reveals that increased electricity generation from solar energy would help diversify energy supply for electricity generation, reduce fossil fuel imports, and therefore help improve energy security of the country. Furthermore, it would help mitigating CO2 and SO2 emissions – an issue of environmental significance. Despite several benefits, there are a number of emerging barriers for promoting electricity generation from solar energy in Thailand. These include the intermittency of solar energy, high-capital cost, unsupportable grid infrastructure and unfavourable regulatory framework. This paper, therefore, suggests that the implementation of energy storage system, provision of financial incentives to potential investors, improvement of grid flexibility and the revision of the regulations to support solar energy business could be effective strategies in order to address the barriers facing the Thai electricity industry.

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Keywords: Solar electricity generation; electricity industry; energy; environment; Thailand

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