Thailand and Germany call for energy and mobility transition, powering tomorrow for a sustainable future
12 March 2021
BANGKOK, 12March 2021 – The German Embassy Bangkok and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH are joining up to launch the “Moving and powering the future” event being held at Samyan Mitrtown, Bangkok. H.E. Mr. Georg Schmidt – the German Ambassador to Thailand, Mr. Sorapong Paitoonphong, Deputy Permanent Secretary, the Thai Ministry of Transport and Dr. Poonpat Leesombatpiboon, Executive Director of International Affairs Division, Office of Permanent Secretary, the Thai Ministry of Energy preside over the event.
The event aims to feature energy and transport transitions from the current status quo of Thailand’s energy and transport sectors to a smart, integrated, resilient and climate proofed future as well as raising awareness about green energy and sustainable mobility solutions. It also demonstrates the best practices between Thailand and Germany through thematic exhibits and interactive boards.
H.E. Mr. Georg Schmidt, the German Ambassador to Thailand said at the opening event: “Less is more – how can we reduce our ecological footprint and have a better life? The exhibition gives some ideas for a green and prosperous future. We can all be a part of that change. We vote with our wallets every day.”
Mr. Sorapong Paitoonphong, Deputy Permanent Secretary, the Thai Ministry of Transport said: The Ministry of Transport realizes that technological innovation will play a crucial role in the transformation of transport sector. We support the use of clean energy and the development of technology for sustainable, clean and green transport. Since the transportation is the second largest emitter of air pollution in Thailand and the major greenhouse gas emissions primarily come from road transport, therefore, the National EV Roadmap was announced to promote the country’s EV development scheme. Thailand continues to support the use of EV, especially for public transport, in line with the concerns of air pollution due to congestion in urban areas. Currently, the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority or BMTA is planning to provide EV buses after the rehabilitation plan is approved by the cabinet. I believe that, in the next few months, there will be EV buses available to serve our people. Besides, the Department of Land Transport is also joining the campaign for cleaner air to encourage the use of alternative energy by reducing the annual vehicle tax on electric vehicles. We expect that the use of electric vehicles in Thailand will be broadly used like in European countries.
Another major milestone for the development of smart mobility in Thailand is Bang Sue Central Station which is planned to open in November 2021. It has been developed as a platform of innovation with the smart city concept which is prominent in the country’s action plan to achieve the goal of sustainable development under Thailand 4.0. The station represents the renaissance of Thailand rail transport and is the largest train station in Southeast Asia. The station has a daily capacity of 600,000 passengers which is more than 10 times of the previous central station (Hua Lamphong station) that has been replaced. The Bang Sue Central Station will serve as a hub for existing rail systems such as BTS Sky Train, MRT, Airport Rail Link, high-speed rail linking Suvanabhumi, Don Muang, and U-Tapao international airports as well as the first stop for Thailand’s first high-speed train project running between Bangkok to Nong Khai which is currently under construction. After the completion of high-speed rail linking three airports, it will cover a total distance of 220 km and the first high-speed route will cover an approximately distance of 600 km. This new station will become a new central business district and a key link in Bangkok’s mass transit system. Last but not least, the feasibility study of long distance transport in rail sector is now conducting for the transformation of fossil fuels to hydrogen fuels as well as the use of electric battery. All of the projects are implemented according to Transport Development Framework of the Ministry of Transport, which consists of Green and Safe Transport, Transport Efficiency, Inclusivity, and Innovation and Management.
Addressing the Thai Ministry of Energy’s mission, Dr. Poonpat Leesombatpiboon, Executive Director of International Affairs Division, Office of Permanent Secretary, the Thai Ministry of Energy said: “To build up Thailand’s energy transition pathway, the Thai Ministry of Energy is now developing the National Energy Plan (NEP) taking into account the whole spectrum of energy sector towards the concept of ‘go green’ with energy security and competitiveness for sustainable energy future. This National Energy Plan will shape up the future energy of Thailand and transform our energy sector to be cleaner and greener. Renewable energy and innovative technology are the key factors to drive our energy policy direction. Our energy strategy and roadmap to achieve the goals of carbon neutrality in energy sector is the key element to reach the “low carbon society” with long-term sustainable actions.”
“Next year, Thailand will be the chair and host Asia-Pacific Economy Cooperation (APEC) Summit, with the concept of Bio-Circular-Green Economy Model or BCG as a key priority focusing on development of knowledge, technology and innovation to utilize our energy resources wisely. Under this BCG concept, energy is considered as one of the key drivers to enhance the inclusive and sustainable growth, transform Thailand into value-based and innovation-economy.”
In addition, the event will also have a talk on “A move towards a smarter future” with Mr. Wannasingh Presertkul, documentary producer and founder of Savage channel , Mr. Tanai Potisat, the Founder of ReCharge. Social project and Anthony Phiyachon, 15-year-old student in Chiang Rai who joins the Elon Musk‘s competition of inventing green technology to reduce carbon emissions in the air to tell a story and exchange experiences on how to help change energy use or transportation for a better future.
The exhibition at Samyan Mitrtown will run from 12 – 18 March 2021 from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm on the third floor.
The travelling exhibition is organised by the German Federal Foreign Office together with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. It is a series of travelling exhibitions. The next stop will be at the Rajamangala University of Technology in Khon Kaen, where the green energy and mobility actions in the province will be presented from 23 to 27 March 2021.