Chapter 6: An Analysis of Renewable Energy Policy in Thailand
6.1 INTRODUCTION1 Thailand is a developing country in Southeast Asia, with a population of approximately 67 million in 2009. The average annual real GDP growth rate of Thailand was 6.6% between 1960 and 2007. Thailand’s GDP was only US$2,760 million at 2000 constant prices in 1960, and per capita GDP was US$317 (Table 6.1). At that time, Thailand’s economy was heavily based on the agricultural sector which accounted for 31.5% of GDP, while the contribution of the manufacturing sector was only 14.5%. Through a process of continuous transformation from agricultural to more sophisticated manufacturing based economy, Thailand’s per capita GDP increased 8.5 times from 1960 to 2007,2 while GDP rose about six-fold to US$17,315 million. Agriculture now plays a lesser role in the economy, accounting for only 8.6% of GDP. On the other hand, the manufacturing sector’s share of GDP has grown rapidly to 39.6% of GDP. The remarkable GDP growth driven by the manufacturing sector has stimulated energy consumption in Thailand. As seen from Table 6.1, per capita primary energy use rocketed from 487 tons of oil equivalent (toe) to 1,667 toe between 1980 and 2007. In the same period, final energy use in manufacturing rose by approximately 6.8% per annum from 3,995 kilo tons of oil equivalent (ktoe) to 23,536 ktoe. A number of studies (e.g., Asafu-Adjaye, 2000; Fatai et al., 2004) have established that, in the case of Thailand, there exists a two-way causal relationship between economic growth...
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