COP21: Thailand's solar revolution sparked by a woman

Thailand is modernising fast and hooked on fossil fuels. In the decade to 2010, they grew by almost 70%, the United Nations says.

Petroleum, natural gas and coal - the biggest source of heat-trapping CO2 - together still supply 76% of the country's energy needs, latest government figures show.

At the same time, Thailand's energy consumption from alternative and renewable sources is accelerating rapidly.

Solar, the fastest growing sector by more than 2000% in four years, has benefited from the biggest public and private investment.

Developing economies such as Thailand's are in the spotlight at a major climate summit in Paris. Wealthy industrialised countries are appealing to emerging economies to be good climate citizens. But poorer nations fear this might limit their ability to grow and become rich.

Thailand, however, is planning to reduce emissions by 20% over the next 15 years. It also expects to double renewable energy production by 2040, the government says.

Responsible for starting this switch to solar power is a businesswoman green experts have describing as Thailand's Solar Queen.

COP 21 - the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties - will see more than 190 nations gather in Paris to discuss a possible new global agreement on climate change, aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions to avoid the threat of dangerous warming due to human activities.

Explained: What is climate change?

In video: Why does the Paris conference matter?

Analysis: Latest from BBC environment correspondent Matt McGrath

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