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Economy

Facing a natural gas shortage, Thailand looks to coal and hydropower

Greenpeace Thailand digs in to stop a coal-powered plant planned in Krabi province, best known for its pristine beaches and limestone cliffs.   © Photo courtesy of Greenpeace Southeast Asia

BANGKOK -- After nearly three decades as Thailand's primary source of energy, natural gas reserves in the Gulf of Thailand are running low. Dwindling supply is prompting the country's military-led government to propose a controversial shift to greater reliance on coal and imported hydroelectricity. A power development plan for 2015 to 2036, expected to be approved within three months, has also been criticized for suggesting that renewable sources should make up only a fifth of the future power mix.

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