NSTDA President Dr. Narong Sirilertworakul reveals that the cabinet has approved NSTDA’s proposal to establish a new national center called National Energy Technology Center (ENTEC) on 9 June 2020. The new center will serve as a center of excellence in energy research and work with all sectors to drive the national energy agenda.

There are several types of energy that ENTEC can address. Renewable energy is a promising area for Thailand because the country is a net exporter of biomass energy. Abundant biomass from agricultural activities offers enormous opportunity for renewable energy research and the study on policy and logistics issues. Solar energy and artificial photosynthesis are among the topics that ENTEC will investigate.

Energy storage system is another topic to be addressed because of its wide applications from electric vehicles to mobile devices. Currently, rare earth metals used in the battery manufacturing are imported. There is a need to develop materials that can be sourced locally to replace imported items in order to establish energy security. On this topic, NSTDA has been working with Chulalongkorn University to enhance the stability of zinc batteries.

MTEC Executive Director Dr. Julathep Kajornchaiyakul who has been tasked to lead the ENTEC establishment says that ENTEC is presented with ample opportunity to integrate several scientific disciplines – such as chemistry, physics, materials science and electrical engineering - to find solutions for energy industry. The center will also boost Thailand’s visibility in the international community and help attract collaboration from international partners.