Thailand's final energy demand is projected to grow at 2.3 per cent per year between 2010 and 2035, driven mostly by the rising demand from the industry sector, according to a report by the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
The demand will rise from 84.6 million tonnes of oil equivalent in 2010 to 147.9Mtoe in 2035, the ADB said in the new report "Energy Outlook for Asia and the Pacific".
According to the report, the Asia-Pacific region as a whole will need a cumulative investment of about US$11.7 trillion (Bt366 trillion) in the energy sector in the 25-year period to 2035 to meet energy demand in the business-as-usual (BAU) case.
The projection for Thailand is based on the BAU case and the economic growth projection.
Over the outlook period, Thailand's GDP is projected to increase from $187.5 billion in 2010 to $573.5 billion in 2035 with an average annual growth rate of 4.6 per cent. The population will grow rather slowly at an annual rate of 0.2 per cent, increasingfrom 69.1 million in 2010 to 73.4 million in 2035. Thailand's GDP per capita will reach $7,816 in 2035, which is close to triple the 2010 level of $2,713.
"Oil will continue to be the major fuel with a share of 39.5 per cent in 2035, followed by natural gas at 28.8 per cent and coal at 13.8 per cent," the report said. "While the energy mix is likely to remain almost the same over the outlook period, the projected introduction of nuclear energy from 2026 onward will bring a slight change to the primary energy mix.
"Hydro is projected to register the fastest annual growth rate of 3.7 per cent through 2035, although its share will be less than 1 per cent."
The industry sector will account for 32.5 per cent of energy demand in 2035, followed by other sectors (including residential, commercial, agriculture, and fishery) at 27.0 per cent, transport at 21.9 per cent, and non-energy use at 18.6 per cent. This structure is unlikely to change over the outlook period, although the industry and other sectors will encroach slightly upon the share of the transport and non-energy sectors through 2035.
Industry-sector energy demand is projected to grow at an average annual rate of 2.4 per cent. Growth in the manufacturing sub-sectors, particularly food and beverages, chemicals, and non-metallic minerals, will boost energy demand. Coal is likely to remain dominant through 2035, but growth will be relatively slow at 1.6 per cent per year.
In contrast, oil will register the fastest annual growth rate of 5.1 per cent over the outlook period.
The transport sector's energy demand is projected to grow by 2.1 per cent per year over the outlook period, mainly because of increasing vehicle numbers and the increase in vehicle kilometres travelled.
However, demand will be moderated by the gradual shift to rapid-transit systems in transport modes in urban centres and a modest increase in the use of biofuels and alternative vehicles.
The other sectors' energy demand will post an average annual growth rate of 2.7 per cent between 2010 and 2035. Electricity will be dominant at 44.5 per cent in 2035.
Across Asia and the Pacific, primary energy demand is projected to increase at 2.1 per cent per year over the period - faster than the projected world average annual growth rate of 1.5 per cent during the same period.
With this growth, primary energy demand of Asia and the Pacific will reach 8,358.3Mtoe by 2035, up from 4,985.2Mtoe in 2010.
While projected growth in the Asia-Pacific region's primary energy demand will be faster than the world average, the trend will be slower than the historical one. Energy intensity (energy needed to produce one unit of gross domestic product) will be decoupled from the GDP growth through 2035, in view of the assumed steady improvement in energy efficiency and some shifts in economic structure.