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Thailand reveals alternative energy strategy

Thailand has outlined a clear strategy of promoting investment in three types of alternative energy: wind power, biomass and bioenergy. Because of the Kingdom’s rich sources, officials said, it has the potential to become an alternative energy hub. Strategic windy provinces include Nakhon Phanom, Sakon Nakhon, Chaiyaphum, Nakhon Ratchasima and Phetchaburi. According to Twarath Sutabutr, director of the Energy Ministry’s Policy and Strategy Coordination Office, the energy ministry’s goal was to promote investment in wind power, with production capacity of 115 megawatts (MW) by 2011, increasing to 800MW by 2016. The ministry said it will soon finish mapping wind-power areas within six months from May for consideration by potential investors who may want to build electricity-generating wind turbines. Twarath said Thailand also plans to be a hub for exporting ethanol to major markets, such as Japan and China. (May 17, 2009)