Call to accelerate spending of $ 300 billion on projects



Call to accelerate spending of $ 300 billion on projects

The Minister of Energy cites an advantage for the economy

The government plans to spend money to develop the infrastructure of electric vehicles and modernize the electricity grid. (Photo: Patipat Janthong)

Energy Minister Supattanapong Punmeechaow is urging authorities to step up capital spending by 300 billion baht to help restore the economy ravaged by the pandemic.

Budget allocation is planned for the period 2021 to 2026 to support energy projects, ranging from upstream and downstream oil and gas operations to petrochemical and power generation companies, in the public and private sectors.

Among the most important projects is the development of renewable energies, which is now part of the government’s program to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.

Carbon neutrality refers to a balance between emissions and absorption of carbon dioxide, aimed at slowing global warming.

The government also plans to spend money to develop electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure and modernize the power grid.

“Incentive packages to promote electric vehicles are expected to be launched next year,” Supattanapong said.

So far, the government has spent nearly 97 billion baht during the lockdown periods this year to support subsidy programs aimed at lowering the cost of living for people.

These include the granting of discounts on electricity bills and price caps for diesel as well as the prices of cooking gas and compressed natural gas.

In the future, the government will focus more on the development of clean energies in order to achieve the objective of carbon neutrality.

In Thailand, carbon dioxide emissions are expected to rise to an all-time high in 2030 and then fall, Supattanapong said.

Officials will continue with the “Energy for All” renewable energy program, which encourages communities and businesses to jointly invest in power generation facilities that use biomass and biogas as fuels.

Energy for All is expected to have a total capacity of 400 megawatts within 10 years.

The first auction round organized for Energy for All projects, with a total capacity of 150 MW, was held in September 2021.

The development of renewable energies is part of the 2022 national energy plan, currently under development and expected to be finalized next year.

The plan will set direction for power generation, oil and gas production, and energy management.

Kulit Sombatsiri, permanent secretary of energy, said the government will also spend money to develop new petrochemical industries that will depend not only on oil and gas, but also on agricultural products over the next three decades.



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