Thailand is currently facing the energy problem due to the insufficient natural resources for manufacturing sector, service section of private sector, and service section of public sector depending on various kinds of energy from aboard, especially petroleum required daily approximately 700,000 barrel or 63% of energy acquisition in the country which leads the global energy crisis causing a high impact on monetary and fiscal system, manufacturing and service of both private and public sector. Hence, energy problem is a major issue influencing on national competitiveness among worldwide. As a result, it is necessary for energy preparation and more acquisition of national resources by collaborating with neighboring countries and enhancing effectiveness of domestic energy utilization as well as alternative energy seriously, simultaneously with encouraging private sector competition in domestic energy industry while controlling quality and safety for consumer’s highest benefit.
However, the arrangement of national energy structure disperses responsibilities in many ministries, bureaus, departments under government sector’s governance and state enterprise engaging in business for security or public utility. This scattering organization structure has occurred from different objectives and situations in various period of time; some organizations were established to be public utility for upgrading civilization for city and locality, such as, The Metropolitan Electricity Authority and The Provincial Electricity Authority which both are under Ministry of Interior, while some organizations were established since no ministry/bureau/department responsible for energy production therefore they are at the mercy of the Prime Minister’s Office such as The Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand.
The energy demand has been increasing dramatically during past decades, leading more important role of these scattering energy institutes to economic development of country and sometimes the operating in one institute may affect significantly to the other if there is a lack of coordination and policy unity since 1986 (B.E. 2529) the government has taken coordination of policy and the supervision of scattering institutes into consideration in order to operate concordantly and established National Energy Policy Committee in 1992 (B.E.2535) which is a department under the Prime Minister’s Office to serve this concern.
The committee has the Prime minister as a president and consists of related Ministers, such as, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister Attached to the Prime Minister’s Office, Minister of Defense, Minister of Interior, Minister of Finance, Minister of Science and Technology, Minister of Commerce, Minister of Industry, Minister of Transportation, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives, Permanent Secretary of Industry, Secretary of the Council of State, Secretary of the National Economic and Social Development Board, Director of the Bureau of the Budget, Director-General of Energy Development and Promotion as a committee and Secretary of National Energy Policy as a committee and secretary. The committees have an authority to determine and consider policies relating to energy as a representative of cabinets and assign to government sectors or state enterprises afterwards.
Therefore, these specific institutes responsible for energy related issues are distributed more than 20 institutes in 9 ministries and operate relying on management’s policy in each institute concerning in their authority in law. Hence, the concept of merging all related institutes was initiated to make a unity in energy management by establishing “Ministry of Energy” that didn’t achieve until the Government of Mr. Thaksin Shinawatra, ,Prime Minister, that concluded in the conference regarding role change, mission and government structure to establish “Bureau of Energy” on 2nd November B.E.2544 (2001) and later changed to “Ministry of Energy” in a meeting between Prime Minister and 5 Deputy Prime Ministers on 9th January B.E.2545(2002). “Ministry of Energy” is a small ministry and responsible for government’s urgent issue.
According to the solution, Ministry of Energy has below conditions to manage;
1. National Energy Policy Office; Prime Minister’s Office
2. Mineral Fuel Division, Analytic Division (Mineral Fuel Analytical Function); Department of Mineral Resources and Petroleum Industry Division, Office of Permanent Secretary; Ministry of Industry
3. Department of Development and Promotion, Ministry of Science Technology and Environment
4. Petroleum and Gas Control Division, Department of Public Works, Ministry of Interior
5. Petroleum Office, Department of Commercial Registration, Ministry of Commerce
6. To transfer 1 electrical energy enterprise state from the authority of Prime Minister’s Office to the authority of Ministry of Energy called The Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT), The Metropolitan Electricity Authority (MEA) and The Provincial Electricity Authority (EPA), referring to resolution on 9th January, 2002 (B.E.2545), remains under the Ministry of Interior, then, later transfer to Ministry of Energy within 2 years.
7. To transfer petroleum and gas state enterprises from the authority of Ministry of Industry which are PTT PLC and Bangchak Petroleum PLC ,which Ministry of Finance and PTT PLC are major shareholders, to be under the authority of Ministry of Energy
Chronologically historical details of establishing Ministry of Energy in Table 1