A [de-] construction & construction of the iron cage: A bumpy ride for Thailand’s energy 

abstract

Although the Ministry of Energy was established around twenty years agon in 2001 to modernize
Thailand’s energy sector via a series of initiatives e.g., opened to a quasi – market competition and
supply side reform including a commitment to renewable power, not until the eleventh [2012 –
2016] and the twelfth [2017 – 2021] of National Economic and Social Development Plan that an
urgent call for sustainability issues & renewable energy were not overshadowed by others but
indeed promulgated. Together with a result from a comprehensive review by World Economic
Forum ‘Energy Transitions Index’ [ETI] between 2000 and 2021, Thailand has relatively
underperformed. It scored just barely 50 out of 100 in ‘system performance’ and ‘transition
readiness’ dimension. This ongoing research project draws insights from historical institutionalism
[lock in] and institutional work [creation, maintenance, and disruption] to interpret the archival
data and construct a narrative account of fertile attempts from renewable supporters to de – lock
Thailand’s energy sector from the existing energy structure at that time. Paradoxically, it
subsequently led to an even stronger coordinated strategy to deconstruct such an old arrangement
and simultaneously construct the new one that is expected to bring Thailand’s energy transitions
back on track. Key contribution of this work can fall into three categories. First of all, the use of
historical oriented approach for studying a tension between a process of deconstruction and
construction of institution. Secondly, its findings shall help improving a transition readiness and
last but not least understand why a transition process had been hold back.

RESEARCH

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