In 2011, Thailand has encountered numerous economic challenges. Energy management has emerged as a challenging issue due to surging demand for energy amid the unrest in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) that has fueled persistently high global oil prices. The recent catastrophe in Japan that has devastated a nuclear power complex has also complicated efforts by the government, private sector and general public alike toward the energy situation.
Alternative energy has been increasingly mentioned as a potential source to replace fossil fuels. Some businesses have been keen on investing in power generation using alternative energy technologies. However, some restrictions in alternative energy still exist, including costly technology and the availability of resources for production. The future of alternative energy also lies in the government energy policy.
KASIKORN RESEARCH CENTER (KResearch) holds the view that the nation's alternative energy development should prioritize increased efficiency by maximizing the use of existing resources for long-term business sustainability. The prospects for the alternative energy industry may also hinge on global energy prices, e.g., fossil fuels (higher prices will make investments in alternative energy more attractive); another factor would be resource availability, as well as the government energy policy. Nonetheless, emphasis should also be placed on energy efficiency for balanced and sustainable energy utilization.