sustainable development Towards_a_sustainable_energy_future_expl.pdf - Environ Dev Sustain(2010 12:63\u201387 DOI 10.1007\/s10668-008-9180-1 Towards a

Sustainable development Towards_a_sustainable_energy_future_expl.pdf

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Towards a sustainable energy future—exploring current barriers and potential solutions in Thailand Sk Noim Uddin Æ Ros Taplin Æ Xiaojiang Yu Received: 20 February 2008 / Accepted: 26 November 2008 / Published online: 17 December 2008 Ó Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008 Abstract Renewable energy is considered an indispensable basis of sustainable energy systems as electricity generation from renewable sources results in low emissions of greenhouse gases compared to fossil fuel based electricity and contributes to sustainable development. However, effective strategies and conducive institutional settings are needed for advancement of such clean electricity systems. Although Thailand, as a nation, has a huge potential for renewable energy utilization, its total amount of electricity generation from renewables is relatively small and could be enlarged substantially. Lack of policy mechanisms, institutional development and financing exist as major barriers for Thailand in this regard. Investigation of the nation’s current energy strategy implementation shows that relevant energy and development policies are at different stages of implementation and institutional settings are continuously evolving. This paper argues that further significant efforts could be made towards advancement of renewable electricity and thus achievement of energy sustainability in Thailand. Resource planning, effective policy and institutions, focussed planning for energy sustainability and implementation of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) under the Kyoto Protocol could facilitate further advancement of renewables for the nation. Keywords CDM Á Sustainable energy Á Renewable Á Policy Á Thailand Readers should send their comments on this paper to: [email protected] within 3 months of publication of this issue. S. N. Uddin ( & ) Á R. Taplin Graduate School of the Environment, Macquarie University, Sydney, NSW 2109, Australia e-mail: [email protected] X. Yu Department of Geography, Hong Kong Baptist University, Kowloon, Hong Kong 123 Environ Dev Sustain (2010) 12:63–87 DOI 10.1007/s10668-008-9180-1
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1 Introduction Use of renewable energy sources is considered an indispensable basis of sustainable energy systems (Lund 2006 ). Renewable energy systems 1 provide nearly emission-free electricity compared with fossil fuel energy systems and offer additional benefits. 2 However, efficient management of energy systems including the advancement of renewables and appropriate decision-making with respect to strategies and institutional settings is also necessary economically, socially and environmentally (Schenk et al. 2007 ). As a newly industrialized nation with a fast growing economy, Thailand could benefit from development and implementation of sustainable energy systems. They would assist in meeting its fast-growing energy demand, addressing potential scarcities of fossil fuel supply and ensuring social and energy security. As a basis for policy development, a comprehensive understanding of Thailand’s current energy systems including renewable or socio-technical 3 systems and their governance in the Thai geo-political context is essential.
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