ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
January 8, 2008
As Thailand is seeking alternative energy sources amid the continuing oil price rise, the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) has brought back its proposed construction of dams, saying they could generate electricity for the country indefinitely.
EGAT deputy governor Suthipong Theppitak said Thailand has the potential to build hydro-electricity plants with a combined capacity of more than 2,000 megawatts in the North, Central and South.
However, officials concerned need to explain clearly to the public the benefits the country would receive from dam construction, particularly power generation from alternative energy to oil.
He said the public must be given proper understanding the dam building would not only help the country enjoy the low-cost electricity generation, but it would also prevent flooding in farm areas.
In addition, people in the vicinity of dams would benefit from state-supported projects for development of their living.
"The dam building will initially affect the environment. Local people living at the construction site must be evacuated. But should there be a sound contingency plan, it could help ease (negative social and environmental) impacts and benefit the country in the long run.
"Although oil will be depleted in the next 40-50 years and coal prices may continue to rise, water in the world will never run out," he said, noting that the wise use of continuing water resources will enable the country to have longer term access to the non-renewable energy resources of petroleum, natural gas and coal.