As the global oil price is hiking continuously amid the unrest in the Middle East and North Africa, plus the global warming crisis, the world has been searching for a new holy grail to replace the now depleting fossil fuels. The Department of Alternative Energy Development and Efficiency (DEDE) is introducing five alternative fuels for the future. The first four have already been discussed in the first part, and the second part will explain the other alternative energy plus other efforts to find new fuels.
According to DEDE Deputy Director-General Dr Twarath Sutabutr, the last alternative fuel introduced is biomass to Liquid (BTL). Three potential raw materials for the production of BTL are fast-growing crops and economic crops, wood fragment and bark, as well as palm empty bunch. Based on the initial survey, about ten factories in the South and four factories in the Northeast are interested in producing biomass fuel from palm empty bunch as well as wood fragment and bark respectively.
Wood fragment and bark can be found in paper and furniture factories, which are located in many provinces across the country; while palm empty bunch can be found in palm oil factories, mostly located in the southern region of Thailand.
Apart from the five new alternative fuel sources, the DEDE will support the electric vehicle (EV) technology development since the vehicles will run on electricity stored in batteries instead of using fuel. At present, EV can run as far as 130 kilometers for one battery-charging. Energy storage system and electric battery in vehicles will also be improved in line with the automotive technology. In addition, smart grid – a form of electricity network using digital technology –will also be developed since it can connect all the electricity transfer system together.
Despite the attempts to find alternative sources of energy or fuel to meet rising demand, it will not be adequate if people keep on choosing to consume energy based solely on its costs. To solve the problem in a sustainable manner, people should also learn how to consume energy economically and wisely for the sake of the world and humanity as a whole.