Thailand and Germany call for energy and mobility transition, powering tomorrow for Khon Kaen Smart City
23 March 2021
KHON KAEN, 23March 2021 – The Rajamangala University of Technology in Khon Kaen, the German Embassy Bangkok and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH are joining up to organise the “Moving and powering the future” event being held at the Rajamangala University of Technology in Khon Kaen from 23 to 27 March, 2021. Dr. Somsak Jangtrakul, Governor of Khon Kaen Province, Dr. Sorajak Kasemsuvan, Vice Chairman of Rajamangala University of Technology Isan Council, Asst. Prof. Dr. Ada Raimaturapong , Vice President of Khon Kaen Campus and H.E. Mr. Georg Schmidt – the German Ambassador to Thailand presided over the event.
The event features the transitions from the current status quo of Thailand’s energy and transport sectors to a smart, integrated, resilient and climate-proof future while simultaneously raising awareness about green energy and sustainable mobility solutions. It also demonstrates the best practices of Thailand and Germany through thematic exhibits and interactive boards.
Dr. Somsak Jangtrakul, Governor of Khon Kaen Province said: “Khon Kaen Province has a strategy to develop as a smart city and is already planning to develop its main transportation system including through the construction of the Light Rail Transit system (LRT). Route 1 is the North-South Line, Ban Samran to Ban Tha Phra with 16 stations and is costing a total of 15 billion baht. Also planned is a Feeder Transportation System including the Khon Kaen City Bus Project which has been in operation for many years. Currently, all 37 city buses are powered by Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) and operate on three routes. The green line runs from the third bus terminal to Khon Kaen airport, while another 2 lines, the red and the blue lines, run from the third bus station to the city of Khon Kaen around the clock. The Smart City Plan for a Smart Environment aims to reduce pollution from urban public transport. The plan is therefore to replace the old city buses on the Khon Kaen city bus routes, which are diesel-powered vehicles, with electric micro-buses. Another project is to set up a Tuk Tuk EV Food Delivery service, which will help drive Khon Kaen Province towards its goal of becoming the center for Electric Vehicles (EV). I believe this concept will better facilitate and respond to the lifestyles of the residents of this province. We believe this to be an extension of the urban development concept of becoming a fully smart city. Today I am delighted to receive new ideas, new technologies and innovations in energy and transport transition in Germany that can be adapted to Khon Kaen and Thailand. And, of course, we are ready to support this movement together with Germany.”
Dr. Sorajak Kasemsuvan, Vice Chairman of Rajamangala University of Technology Isan Council said: “In Thailand, the energy sector is responsible for 43% of Greenhouse Gas emissions and the transport sector 27%, making up more than 70% of the total Greenhouse Gas emissions in the country. This makes it clear to us that the time has come for us to adopt energy in transition by turning to more clean energy to reduce the Greenhouse Gas emissions affecting climate change today. In 2020, Thailand was ranked 53 out of 115 countries in terms of the efficiency of its energy transition. And it is ranked fourth in ASEAN by the Energy Transition Index (ETI) indicator of the World Economic Council. I think Thailand has already begun to become a country undergoing energy transition. For example, Khon Kaen Province itself has a policy on ‘low-carbon cities’ and has developed several plans to reduce carbon dioxide such as turning food waste into fertilizer, reducing carbon dioxide from food waste and installing solar cells on the roof of the fresh market. In addition, I think that adopting information technology and intelligent technology will help make the transition more successful. This is very important because the transition of energy and transport is the cornerstone of economic and social development in the future.”
Asst. Prof. Dr. Ada Raimaturapong , Vice President of Khon Kaen Campus said: “The Rajamangala University of Technology in Khon Kaen was established as part of the cooperation agreement between the Thai government and the German government under the name Khon Kaen Technical College, but has since been renamed the Thai-German technical college. We focus on providing a mix of academic and technical knowledge from both Thailand and Germany. We have produced quality graduates, skilled in both knowledge and ability. However, technology never stops. Our daily life, occupations, and the process of producing a product or service are changing with new innovations like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and other technologies to come. Therefore, we need to cope, adapt, learn new things and skills. As we all know, Germany is a leader in global technology especially in engineering and we accept that Germany has been number one in the world for many decades. Therefore, it is a good opportunity for us to adopt new innovations and technologies while keeping in mind that such technologies must be appropriate to the country’s context and not destroy the environment or cause negative impacts on the climate.”
H.E. Mr. Georg Schmidt, the German Ambassador to Thailand said: “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. Climate change affects people’s lives all over the world. It needs a joint effort. We should learn from each other, share our success stories as well as our failures. As Thailand’s largest bilateral climate partner, we are pleased to share our experiences with Khon Kaen Province. Clean renewable energy and sustainable transport will be the focus of the future Thai-German climate cooperation.”
The event also features a talk titled “Khon Kaen Model: Gateway to the GMS and Economic Corridors”. Speakers Mr. Thawatchai Kotwong from the Digital Economy Promotion Agency (depa) and Mr. Suradech Taweesaengsakulthai from Khon Kaen Think Tank (KKTT) will exchange experiences on this topic.
The exhibition at the Rajamangala University of Technology in Khon Kaen will run from 23 – 27 March 2021 from 09:00 to 16:00 hrs.
The travelling exhibition is organised by the German Federal Foreign Office together with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.