Thailand taps rice, sugar biomass to wean itself from fossil fuels

Thailand has launched a full-fledged effort to adopt biomass as a major future energy source, a drive that has received a boost from companies looking for relief from skyrocketing fossil fuel prices.

Thailand took up the bio-circular-green economic model a year ago as a way to revive its pandemic-battered economy. The idea is to promote new industries on the foundation of the country’s dominant agricultural sector. Biomass energy relies on the burning of plant matter instead of fossil fuels.

Thailand is a major producer of rice, sugar cane and cassava. The government estimates that 40 million tons of biomass is unused in a given year. Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha has pledged to “maximize the revenue from agriculture and reduce waste and the use of fossil fuels.”

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YOHEI MURAMATSU, Nikkei staff writer