US and Thailand advance energy cooperation in recent discussions

The United States and Thailand have recently agreed to advance energy cooperation during talks in Washington, DC. The Office of the Spokesperson for the US Department of State issued a joint press statement revealing that the discussions took place during the third US-Thailand Energy Policy Dialogue, held from April 18 to April 20. Both nations aimed to deepen their ties on energy cooperation, with discussions led by Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Energy Resources (ENR), Geoffrey Pyatt, alongside Thailand’s Permanent Secretary for Energy, Kulit Sombatsiri.

As a result of these discussions, the two countries agreed to develop a mechanism that will build on the dialogue to advance clean energy cooperation in the coming year. The ENR is responsible for leading the State Department’s efforts in crafting and implementing international energy policies. Through diplomatic and programmatic engagements, they promote a low-emissions future, energy security for the US and its allies, and economic prosperity via sustainable, affordable, and reliable energy access.

The statement highlighted the commitment of both countries to enhance Thailand’s energy security amidst global and regional energy market pressures. They aim to encourage open markets and reduce barriers to clean energy development and trade. Additionally, the two nations resolved to increase energy efficiency, strengthen clean energy supply chains for electric vehicles and their batteries, and capitalise on opportunities for energy-related investment and trade under the US Inflation Reduction Act.

During the dialogue, representatives discussed a plan to accelerate renewable energy investment under the Clean Energy Demand Initiative and assessed progress made in the Japan-US-Mekong Power Partnership (JUMPP). This includes the release of the JUMPP Action Plan on April 6 and US Vice President Kamala Harris’ announcement in November 2022 requesting up to US$20 million (676.1 million baht) in extra funding for JUMPP from the US Congress.

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The ENR’s power sector programme, JUMPP, provided technical assistance in support of Thailand’s plans to broaden cross-border electricity trade, deploy renewable energy and battery storage, develop electric vehicle strategy, enhance market transparency, and more. The two countries also moved forward with initial talks exploring opportunities under the Japan-US Clean Energy Partnership.

Furthermore, the dialogue participants acknowledged the advancements made during the 2022 US-Thailand Energy Policy Dialogue on carbon capture, utilisation, and storage (CCUS) cooperation, focusing on supporting Thailand’s emissions reduction targets. On April 19, the ENR delivered its first report concerning the US engagement with Thailand’s Department of Mineral Fuels throughout the past year, addressing CCUS through the US Department of Commerce’s Commercial Law and Development Programme.

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Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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