Thai German Cooperation on Energy, Mobility and Climate: Biomass Component (TGC-EMC Biomass Project)

OBJECTIVES

By facilitating energy from agricultural residues, i.e., rice straw and sugarcane leaves, TGC EMC Biomass Component supports Thailand’s goals in increasing its share of renewable energy, reducing emissions from agricultural burning, and diversifying farmers’ incomes.

DESCRIPTION

According to Thailand’s second updated nationally determined contribution (NDC), submitted to the UNFCCC in November 2022, an ambitious pledge was made to unconditionally reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 30% from the business-as-usual (BAU) scenario by 2030. Renewable energy promotion is one of the proposed mitigation actions in the NDC. In discussions around the future of Thailand’s energy system, decentralized renewable energy generation from biomass deserves particular attention due to its potential, strategic importance for the country, and anticipated role in the energy system.

To address these challenges and fulfill the NDC commitments, the TGC EMC programme has been developed. Its primary objective is to facilitate Thailand’s transition to a sustainable energy model, promoting economic growth while aligning with ambitious climate goals. The programme encompasses five main components:

  1. Renewable Energy
  2. Transport
  3. Decarbonisation in Industry
  4. Biomass to Energy
  5. Climate Finance

A significant portion of Thailand’s electricity is currently generated from fossil fuels, and the share of variable renewable energy (vRE)-based generation remains below its potential. Simultaneously, there is a significant amount of unutilized agricultural residues that could serve as biomass feedstock for energy generation. Currently, it is a prevalent practice among farmers in Thailand to engage in open burning—burning of agricultural residues to prepare fields for the next crop and accelerate the harvesting process. This practice not only damages soil fertility, but also worsens air pollution affecting public health at large.

The TGC EMC Biomass Component focuses on assessing the potential use of agricultural residues as an alternative biomass feedstock, serving as a renewable and sustainable source of energy. This initiative aligns with national policies, addressing the issue of open burning and supporting farmers in generating additional income sources.

APPROACH/FIELD OF INTERVENTION

1. TECHNOLOGY OPTIONS
  • Output 1.1: Analysis of demand and supply of biomass energy
  • Output 1.2: Technical knowledge on biomass energy transition is improved
2. POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS
  • Output 2.1: Cooperation among related departments is enhanced
3. PILOT SOLUTIONS
  • Output 3.1: Community-based collection network is established
  • Output 3.2: Appropriate incentives for farmers not to burn agricultural residues
COUNTRY

Thailand

DURATION

2023 - 2027

Commission Agency

 BMWK

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