2) Renewable Energy in Chiang Mai – Strategies to Develop Solar and Biochar

Link to Full Policy Proposal: Renewable Energy in Chiang Mai – Strategies to Develop Solar and Biochar

Link to Presentation Slides: Session 2 – Group 2

Session 2 - Group 2.jpg

Ajay Jagannath, Carlos Caleb Jnr Sengu, Lee Ai Lian Grace, Leigha Miyata

Thailand ratified the Paris Agreement in 2016. With this, Thailand aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20% from existing levels by 2030. To work towards this goal, a key element is the use of renewable energy. Thailand has plans to increase the share of renewable energy in its final energy consumption from 12% in 2014 to 30% by 2036.

Chiang Mai can play a big part towards meeting Thailand’s renewable energy targets. Amongst others, two types of renewable energy seem more promising in Thailand and can potentially be scaled up further – solar energy and biomass. Given Chiang Mai’s terrain and weather, solar energy can be harnessed as an alternative source of energy. However, the main disadvantage is that it is weather-dependent and requires battery technology. Biomass also has potential as Chiang Mai is mainly an agricultural province, hence crops are easily available. The main contention against biochar, a specific type of biomass, is that it is not a clean energy source, unlike sunlight.

Given the advantages and limitations of solar energy and biomass, the strategy is for these two types of renewable energy to complement each other in order to achieve Thailand’s renewable energy targets. The project discusses strategies to further develop these two forms of renewable energy, by taking feasibility, budget and environmental impacts into account.