Thailand

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Information about biofuels and bioenergy in Thailand.

Contents

Events

2009

2008

2006

Issues

News

  • Coconut and mango waste could help power Asia 22 March 2012 by Syful Islam for SciDev.Net: "[DHAKA] Researchers in the United States say agricultural waste from coconut and mango farming could generate significant amounts of off-grid electricity for rural communities in South and South-East Asia."
  • "Many food crops have a tough, inedible part which cannot be used to feed livestock or fertilise fields. Examples of this material — known as ['endocarp'] — include coconut, almond and pistachio shells, and the stones of mangoes, olives, plums, apricots and cherries... Endocarp is high in a chemical compound known as lignin. High-lignin products can be heated to produce an energy-rich gas that can be used to generate electricity."
  • The researchers identified high-endocarp-producing regions of the world – and noted that coconut and mango agriculture account for 72 per cent of total global endocarp production. Coconut production alone accounted for 55 per cent... Most coconut endocarp comes from South and South-East Asian countries, including Bangladesh, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam.
  • They then overlaid these findings with energy consumption data to identify communities with little access to electricity, who could benefit from endocarp-based energy.
  • [Tom] Shearin [co-author and a systems analyst at University of Kentucky] said endocarp was preferable to crop-based biofuels as it had no value as a food item. "Its exploitation as energy source does not compete with food production," he said. [1]
  • Eco-cars to lift ethanol sales by 46%, 9 June 2011 by Bangkok Post: "Ethanol consumption is expected to rise by 46% this year to 2 million litres per day, driven by new eco-car sales, according to Thailand's Department of Alternative Energy Development and Efficiency."
    • "Director-general Krairit Nilkuha said the increase in ethanol use could reduce petrol consumption by 10% or about 20-21 million litres per day."
    • "The use of E20, a blend of 20% ethanol and 80% petrol, has doubled to 600,000 litres per day this month from December last year, while E85 gasohol, a blend of 85% crop-derived ethanol and 15% petrol, has risen to 17,500 litres a day from 11,000 in the same period."
    • "The country's Renewable Energy Plan developed in 2006 calls for ethanol use to increase to 3 million litres this year and to 9 million in 2022 or nearly a half of total petrol consumption."[3]
  • FAO's Tool Weighs Pros and Cons of Biofuels, 7 June 2011 by AllAfrica.com: "Calculating the costs and benefits of investing in biofuels may become easier for policymakers with a guide launched by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)."
    • "The Bioenergy and Food Security (BEFS) Analytical Framework, released last month (17 May), was developed over the past three years and tested in Peru, Tanzania and Thailand."
    • "Heiner Thofern, head of the BEFS project, said that the goal is to help policymakers make informed decisions on whether development of bioenergy is a viable option for their countries and, if so, identify policies that will maximise benefits for the economy and minimise risks to food security."
    • Chris Buddenhagen, council coordinator of the Hawaii Invasive Species Council who developed a tool for assessing the risk of invasion by biofuel species, also welcomed the method, but warned that it seems hard to use and difficult to apply quickly to make the best policy decisions."
    • "He also said the tool neglects some important issues, such as biodiversity and the invasiveness of biofuel species."[4]
  • Rush to Use Crops as Fuel Raises Food Prices and Hunger Fears, 7 April 2011 by the New York Times: "The starchy cassava root has long been an important ingredient in everything from tapioca pudding and ice cream to paper and animal feed."
    • "But last year, 98 percent of cassava chips exported from Thailand, the world’s largest cassava exporter, went to just one place and almost all for one purpose: to China to make biofuel."
    • "Each year, an ever larger portion of the world’s crops — cassava and corn, sugar and palm oil — is being diverted for biofuels as developed countries pass laws mandating greater use of nonfossil fuels and as emerging powerhouses like China seek new sources of energy to keep their cars and industries running. Cassava is a relatively new entrant in the biofuel stream."
    • "But with food prices rising sharply in recent months, many experts are calling on countries to scale back their headlong rush into green fuel development, arguing that the combination of ambitious biofuel targets and mediocre harvests of some crucial crops is contributing to high prices, hunger and political instability."
    • "'The fact that cassava is being used for biofuel in China, rapeseed is being used in Europe, and sugar cane elsewhere is definitely creating a shift in demand curves,' said Timothy D. Searchinger, a research scholar at Princeton University who studies the topic. 'Biofuels are contributing to higher prices and tighter markets.'"[5]
  • Flat-headed cat endangered by palm oil, April 2010 by MNN: "According to National Geographic, a new study published in the journal PLoS ONE has indicated that the flat-headed cat's habitat is rapidly being transformed into vast biofuel plantations."
    • "Native to the swampy peat forests of Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia, the cats are nocturnal, elusive, tiny (they typically weigh between 3-5 pounds) and difficult to observe."
    • "Almost 70 percent of the area that historically provided good habitats for the flat-headed cat has already been converted into plantations, mostly for the purpose of growing biofuel. Furthermore, their remaining range has become fragmented, likely making it difficult for remote populations of the cat to breed with one another."
    • "The cat's predicament is not unique in the region where it lives. Tropical Southeast Asia has both one of the highest rates of biodiversity and highest rates of deforestation worldwide. Much of that deforestation is for the purpose of planting palms, a cash crop destined for the biofuel market."[6]
  • Small-scale biofuels production holds more promise, says USAID, 21 June 2009 by BusinessMirror: "Decentralized biofuel production, or small-scale factories built on degraded or underused lands, has the potential to provide energy to half a billion people living in poverty in rural Asia."
    • " The report, Biofuels in Asia: An Analysis of Sustainability Options…focused on China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. It analyzed key trends and concerns and highlighted sustainability options for biofuel production."
    • "Compared with large-scale biofuels production, small-scale biofuels production for local use may deliver greater social benefits, including improvement of rural livelihoods, support of local industries, and a lower tendency toward exploitation of workers and co-opting of land from indigenous peoples."

Organizations

Regional organizations

Governmental organizations

  • Commerce Ministry
  • Energy Ministry
  • Oil Fund (government-sponsored)

Nongovernmental organizations

Companies

Reports

Notes



Thailand edit
Southeast Asia edit
Greater Mekong Subregion: Burma/Myanmar | Cambodia | Southern China | Laos | Thailand | Vietnam
Regional activities: Core Agriculture Support Program
Other: Brunei | East Timor/Timor Leste | Indonesia | Malaysia | Philippines | Singapore
Asia edit
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Institutions: Asian Development Bank

Regions edit
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See also: International cooperation | International organizations


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