So back to our Thailand solar power segment. Wow, it’s been a couple of stressful weeks with all the things happening around the world. You have the over-thowing of corrupt regimes all throughout the middle east, the nuclear disaster in Japan, and also the horrible weather that has been effecting Thailand.
As I spend time in South East Asia it is blatant to see that the old ways of doing things are changing, this can be both a good and bad thing, and for a lot of issues they desperately need to change. Developing country’s have a sort of apathy towards ecological issues such as littering, slash and burn crop techniques, and methods of producing fuel and electricity. Who can blame them, after all they’re just trying to survive right.
But, as a developing country has more and more economical success and more exposure to the world, the views of the people change. They can then turn their attention to other issues around them instead of just surviving and putting food on the table for their family. Thailand has been in this shift for awhile and you can now see signs of it everywhere you travel within it’s borders. Whether it has to do with not throwing their trash on the sidewalk (yes this was very commonplace not to long ago, and is still a major issue), having huge problems with gangs of roaming street dogs (buddhist religion does not support spaying or neutering of animals), animal rights and conservation in general, and energy production responsibility.
In fact as I talked with the Thai people it was apparent that ecological concern and responsibility is becoming more and more important in Thai society. The apathy towards environmental issues is waning at an ever increasing speed due to awareness derived from social groups, mass media, and groups of environmentalists. Solar power is an extremely hot subject in Thailand right now as it would be able to provide a large amount of jobs for the Thai people. As Thailand is quite sunny especially in the North East it is especially suited to this type of alternative energy, the other advantage is it would be able to help ween Thailand off their dependence of natural gas, their main source of fuel, that they have to import from other country’s such as Laos.
The real trick to building a sustainable alternative energy infrastructure is to marry the ideology of both the environmentally responsible and the economical centric of any given society. What this means is that there needs to be a win/win situation for both the environment (clean energy = less pollution) and the economy (solar power farms and plants = money and jobs). The only way to achieve this is by lowering the cost of solar power. The only way to reduce the costs of solar power is to develop better methods and equipment, and of course the only way to develop better methods and equipment is to fund research and development.
In any case in the next decade we will see awareness of solar power spread even more throughout Thailand, and I see them as being the soon to be leader in alternative energies in the South East Asia region.
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