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Thailand to explore geothermal power options with US$6 million study and prototype plant

Geothermal hot spring at in Mueang Mae Hong Son, Thailand (source: flickr/ Geoff_B, creative commons)
Alexander Richter Alexander Richter 28 Aug 2011

As part of a greater renewable energy plan, Thailand will explore its geothermal power options with study and a prototype plant of 2-10 MW for remote villages. Potential areas for geothermal powere are in the North of the country at Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai.

In news from Thailand it is reported that “Thailand is pushing green plans by proposing to increase alternative energy consumption to 25 per cent of the total by 2022, above the original target of 20 per cent.

A geothermal power plant is also in the picture as the Energy Ministry is seeking to stabilise energy security in light of strong public resistance to nuclear and coal-fired power plants.

Krairit Nilkuha, director-general of the Department of Alternative Energy Development and Efficiency, said the department was preparing a revised version of the 15-year Alternative Energy Development Plan (2008-22). The new version would be submitted to the new minister soon.

The revised version will raise the solar-power portion from 500 megawatts to 1,500MW by 2022, while wind power will double from 800MW to 1,600MW.

“We will also promote several plants for generating alternative energy. This is to offset the low power supply of raw material for biomass energy,” he said.

The department has joined with PTT and the Department of Groundwater Resources to conduct a study on the development of geothermal energy to produce electricity. The complete study is expected to take two years, which will lead to the setting up of a prototype geothermal energy plant in remote villages that have no access to power lines.

PTT will finance the survey for geothermal energy sources. Its development is expected to cost Bt200 million (US$6.6 million). The potential areas for geothermal power are in the North, such as Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai.

Krairit added that if the prototype plant were established, the related parties would have to hold surveys among people in the areas to avoid possible protest. It is expected to be a small plant with a capacity of 2-10MW.”

Source: Nation Multimedia