Few alternatives

As someone who has worked in the clean energy industry in Thailand, I'd like to make a few points regarding both the strong opinions on coal and the plans for coal-fired power plants.

Some Scandinavian countries are operating clean coal-fired plants that have been built fairly recently. The argument of global warming seems like a double standard, seeing as we don't oppose other activities that are more damaging in this regard. And no one has talked about the actual CO2 amount that will be emitted.

It is suggested we have many other choices, but I say we don't have that many alternatives: this power plant will be for 800 megawatts and will be online in 4-5 years.

To change this 800MW to renewable energy would be much more complicated and costly.

It would require a massive amount of (cheap) land that most of the South doesn't have to operate solar or wind on this scale. The Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat) doesn't have the system set up to support that much renewable energy; to do so in such a short time would be extremely costly.

Another problem is cost. The current retail electricity price is 2.5 to 4 baht per unit, whereas the price Egat pays for renewable energy is 5.5 to 8 baht/unit; unless we get the government and Egat to subsidise a lot more electricity, power costs will have to go up.

In terms of other conventional fuel power plants, the alternative would be natural gas, LPG, LNG and nuclear, which is not a good alternative in terms of public appeal.

Most existing Thai power plants use natural gas, LPG and LNG. That is not a problem except that the natural gas reserves in Thailand are limited, and to have our energy source overly dependent on the import of only these commodities is bad for the economy.

This is the main reason coal power was added to the long-term development plan for energy in the first place.

Nicholas Law
Former manager, Wind Power Company

Suu Kyi's complicity

It is unfortunate that under the rules of the Nobel Foundation there is no provision for the appeal of an award or for its later withdrawal. And it is highly unlikely the foundation will change the rules established in 1895, however archaic they now may be.

I say unfortunate, because if there was a case for the stripping of a nobel laureate, it would go to Aung San Suu Kyi.

By both her passivity and refusal to champion the Rohingya, and by her active antagonism to the situation by saying they are not Rohingya but illegal Bangladeshi immigrants, "The Lady" has stood by and been complicit in inhuman atrocities against them, particularly in Rakhine state, where entire villages have been razed, people killed, women raped, and whole communities forcibly relocated.

She has proven herself to be an idol with feet of clay and obviously heavily beholden to the still all-powerful military, who in reality still call the shots.

David Brown

Smoke and mirrors

Mr Ahmet Idem Akay: I know your job as charge d'affairs is to paint a rosy picture of Turkey and of Mr Erdogan. The problem is Mr Erdogan's deeds and orders after the real or fake coup speak much clearer and louder than your words.

The same goes for executing children, and for a number of the unfriendly claims about Europe: the age-old "trick" of constructing an enemy outside to dampen unrest inside. By the way: what is Mr Erdogan's definition of the word "democracy"? I see that you stress he is democratically elected, not that he rules by democratic ideas.


A fair hearing

Do Thai people in Bangkok suffer from a hearing disability, or are they just rude? Why do they shout down the phone?

Why can I hear the assembly from the school almost halfway down my street? Why can't people keep their personal car stereos from reverberating and ruining the foundations of my house? Why do street bands and processions have to be so loud?

Surely there is a genetic auditory problem that needs to be addressed. Section 44?


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