25 March 2023, Bangkok – Clean, Affordable and Secure Energy for Southeast Asia (CASE) funded by the German government (BMWK), and implemented by GIZ Thailand together with the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) and 20 partners organized the event “Energine: Jointly Imagine to Promote Sustainable Energy for Our Lives and the Planet” over the weekend of 25-26 March at Bangkok Art & Culture Centre (BACC) to promote transition towards sustainable energy. The event targeted both the general public and policymakers with the responsibility of determining a suitable energy policy for Thailand.
Many activities were organised to publicize CASE’s study, promote clean energy, and raise awareness of the need for collaboration to deal with global warming, among them exhibitions, green booths manned by partners, panel discussions, and a TED talk by experts, climate activists, and representatives of political parties.
Mr. Chadchart Sittipunt, governor of Bangkok, delivered the opening remarks, saying: “Climate change is having a devastating impact on the way people live. The global temperature is predicted to rise above 1.5°C, which will result in more severe natural disasters. To mitigate the impacts of climate change, Thailand is moving toward this transition, particularly in the energy sector which is the main contributor of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Switching to clean energy and promoting energy efficiency is a shortcut to reduced emissions. For this occasion, the BMA has joined forces with many partners to participate in the Earth hour campaign on 25 March to encourage everyone to turn off their lights between 8.30 and 9.30 p.m. alongside more than 7,000 cities around the world. To underline our commitment, this year we are not only continuing the campaign, but expanding our network and collaboration to promote sustainable energy and push the energy sector to work with us all in taking care of our earth and the environment.”
Other than promoting and showing the power of everyone to move towards this transition, the event also aimed to raise the awareness of the general public and policymakers to understand how Thailand is planning to achieve the carbon neutrality goal to which it committed at COP26. Dr. Siripha Junlakarn, representative from CASE, stated in the session “Energy Conversation: Thailand’s Transition Pathway to Clean Energy” that “CASE has conducted energy research to present a pathway to carbon neutrality in Thailand by 2050. To achieve this goal, we need to switch from fossil fuels, the price of which tends to be high, to renewable energies, which are cheaper. We need to increase the proportion of renewable energy production and usage through new technology such as energy storage, smart grid, and decentralized energy management. In addition, the transport sector has to switch to electric-powered vehicles for both public and private systems. However, to make all of this happen, the government must provide support and a more ambitious energy policy to allow investment to occur. This information is based on the study “Towards a collective vision of Thai energy transition: National long-term scenarios and socioeconomic implications.”
In addition to disseminating academic studies, the panel discussion co-organised by Sal Forest Co., Ltd., Thai Renewable Energy Association (RE100), and The Cloud, looked at ways to move fairly towards net zero emissions.
Mr. Athip Tantivorawong, Director and Chief Executive Officer, Innopower and Mr. Pornphrom Vikitsreth, Advisor to the Bangkok Governor presented “Energy Talk: Net Zero Goals towards a Clean Energy Future“, opening up new perspectives on urban energy consumption and the status quo of current energy technology, while Assoc. Prof. Dr. Naebboon Hoonchareon of the Faculty of Engineering, Chulalongkorn University gave a talk titled “Correcting the misunderstandings in Energy Saving”.
The presentation “Energy Talk: Energy transition and the needs of the people” opened up the space for discussion by representatives of the public and private sectors, activists, and civil society. This was followed by a panel discussion by representatives of different political parties on “Energy policy based on the needs of the people” that examined the issues and answered questions from Thai citizens on suitable energy policies that are in line with the global trend while ensuring Thailand’s energy security and accessibility.
The event also featured a storytelling shadow puppet show, organised by Mommy Puppet, on the pathways to clean energy as well as many booths and exhibitions organised by both energy and environmental partners such as Muvmi, Ari around, Flo Wolffia, Zero Waste from BMA, JGSEE, MEA and others on the concept “Jointly imagine…Energy transition in our generation“. Participants were also invited to take part in various activities to win souvenirs from CASE and partners throughout the event.