Government to Create Renewable Energy Development Fund

By Times Reporters
(Latest Update March 20, 2013)

The government plans to establish a fund to promote the development of renewable energy and bio-diesel production.

According to the Renewable Energy Development Strategy, the fund will be sourced from the government’s budget, donor countries, international financial institutions, and non-government organisations (NGOs), which are active in renewable energy development.

Renewable energy developers and investors will also be encouraged to contribute to the fund, which will play a significant role in promoting the development of renewable energy in Laos amid rising demand for clean power production.

Policy makers at the Ministry of Energy and Mines said the government would establish a steering committee made of the sectors concerned to develop policy and monitor expenditure of the fund to ensure its transparent management.

The fund will be used to build capacity within organisations that play an important role in developing policies, and monitor and manage the development of renewable energy in Laos. The fund will also support seminars and workshops, creating opportunities for those concerned to share their knowledge on renewable energy.

The fund will also be used to finance research and studies on renewable energy development, one of the main conditions to ensure the sustainable and environmental friendly development of renewable energy and bio-diesel.

Laos has huge potential for the development of renewable energy for domestic consumption and export, including solar energy, wind energy, biomass energy and small hydropower plants with installed capacity of 15MW or less.

Laos receives an average solar irradiation of 3.5 to 5 kWh/m2 a day. The government considers solar power as an important source of energy as it can enable the country to expand its energy service to off grid and in remote areas.

Laos also has potential in its large areas of fertile land, which can be used to grow crops, which are required for bio-diesel production. Studies on bio-diesel are needed to ensure a sufficient supply of raw materials and food security.

Laos has the potential to build small hydropower power plants with installed capacity of 15MW or less thanks to its many rivers and mountainous terrain. The Ministry of Energy and Mines has learnt Laos could build small dams with a combined power of about 2000MW.

The government is considering a number of investment incentives to boost the development of small hydropower plants for domestic consumption amid the rising demand for energy in Laos as a result of strong economic growth.

According to the Ministry of Energy and Mines, the government plans to increase the share of renewable energy to 30 percent of total energy consumption by 2025. It also expects the transportation sector to use 10 percent of bio-fuel in the same period.

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