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Laos Plans Renewable Energy Development
Source: kplnet.net
Source Date: Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Country: Lao People's Democratic Republic
Created: Nov 01, 2010

The Lao PDR will strive to produce and use renewable energy about 30 percent of the total energy consumption by focusing on producing bio fuel to substitute imported fuels about 10 per cent by 2025.

This was a draft strategy on renewable energy development of Laos, which was presented by Vice Minister of Energy of Mining of Laos, Mr. Somboune Rasasombath, at the Region Forum on Building Partnerships for Implementing Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Projects in the Mekong Region held in Vientiane on Tuesday.

Taking part in the meeting were Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland, Mrs. Ritva Koukku-Ronde, government officials and representatives of the private sector from four Mekong Region countries of Laos, Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia.

The EEP Mekong promotes renewable energy, waste-to-energy and energy efficiency investments through funding for the development of innovation technologies, capacity development, pilot and demonstration projects and information sharing. It is implemented by Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam.

The Government of Laos expects to expand electricity network to cover 90% of households nationwide by 2020 and 80% of households by 2015, continued Mr Somboune Rasasombath.

Mr. Somboune has also highlighted the importance of tapping vest renewable energy resource for cleaner energy development of the Mekong region. In his speech, the Vice-Minister emphasised Lao PDR’s renewable energy and energy efficiency policy and experience.

Since the world fuel crisis and the fuel price hike in 2007 and 2008, the Lao government has advised the Energy and Mining Ministry in drafting a renewable energy strategy.

He added the Lao PDR promotes and develops renewable energy and imports some energy to ensure energy security, continuous socio-economic development, and environmental and social sustainability.

One of the major sessions of the forum will be panel discussion on bio-fuel, a popular but often controversial subject among renewable energy experts. Another key session will explore the benefits, as well as best practices and lessons learned from public-private partnerships in implementing renewable energy and energy efficiency project.

We are faced by three burning global challenges of food and the climate crisis and the economic recovery. All these relate very closely to energy. These global crises have made the agenda of sustainable development more important than ever, said Mrs. Ritva Koukku-Ronde.

She said that the different global crises are interlinked and they have deep influence on the lives of all people in the world. In order to solve the problems and to promote prosperity and well-being of our citizens, we need more ambitious global policies and cooperation.

She added the UN Millennium Development Goals will not be met unless our joint efforts to combat poverty are strengthened. Poverty reduction is possible only if we take a holistic approach to development. We need to focus on sustainable development in its all three pillars: economic, ecological and social.

But there is no millennium development goal specifically related to energy. However, energy poverty is a major barrier to growth and development in many areas of the world. Energy is still seen as a single-sector issue. Not enough attention is paid to the links between energy service delivery and poverty reduction.
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