Securing energy efficiency as a high priority: scenarios for common appliance electricity consumption in Thailand
Between 1995 and 2008, Thailand’s energy efficiency programs produced an estimated total of 8,369 GWh/year energy savings and 1,471 MW avoided peak power. Despite these impressive saving figures, relatively little future scenario analysis is available to policy makers. Before the 2008 global financial crisis, electricity planners forecasted 5–6% long-term increases in demand. We explored options for efficiency improvements in Thailand’s residential sector, which consumes more than 20% of Thailand’s total electricity consumption of 150 TWh/year. We constructed baseline and efficient scenarios for the period 2006–2026, for air conditioners, refrigerators, fans, rice cookers, and compact fluorescent light bulbs. We drew on an appliance database maintained by Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand’s voluntary labeling program. For the five appliances modeled, the efficiency scenario results in total savings of 12% of baseline consumption after 10 years and 29% of baseline after 20 years. Approximately 80% of savings come from more stringent standards for air conditioners, including phasing out unregulated air conditioner sales within 6 years. Shifting appliance efficiency standards to current best-in-market levels within 6 years produces additional savings. We discuss institutional aspects of energy planning in Thailand that thus far have limited the consideration of energy efficiency as a high-priority resource.
KeywordsEnergy efficiency Thailand Standards Labeling Appliances Air conditioners Refrigerators
The authors gratefully acknowledge contributions made by Charlie Heaps, Bundit Limeechokchai, staff in the Demand-Side Management Office, Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand, Louis Lebel, and two anonymous reviewers. Funding support came from IUCN—the World Conservation Union; the Mekong Program on Water, Environment and Resilience (funded by CGIAR Challenge Program on Water and Food); and from the Policy Research to Promote Development and Use of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency in Thailand project (funded by Thailand’s Energy Policy and Planning Office).
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