Monday, August 17, 2009

Thailand - Turning Lights on, Taking Pollution Down

Until now, Thailand’s most remote villages lived without continuous electricity. However, villagers in settlements not even charted on Thai maps, such as Mae Ya Noi, now have the ability to turn on a light and use electric-powered devices whenever they want. Better yet, the energy they are using comes from renewable sources! 100 houses in three villages across Mae Ya Noi now receive electricity from a new small hydro power plant.

Targeted renewable energy projects are taking off throughout Thailand – over 180 villages and towns throughout the country are now provided power by small plants such as the one in Mae Ya Noi, and this number is expected to double in the next few years. These improvements come with the help of the United Nations Development Programme, who in 2001 launched an initiative in conjunction with the Global Environment Facility and the Energy for Environment Foundation to promote renewable energy. Through careful cooperation and investment by Thailand’s government, the renewable energy market is now booming, and in the past eight years the country has succeeded in cutting 5 million tons of carbon emissions annually – the equivalent of taking 1.5 million cars off the road every year!

With the support of UNDP Thailand is doing its part to decrease dependency on oil and put an end to climate change. Read more about the initiative here.