Low Carbon News in Laos in February 2016
Renewable energy workshop talks up research and investment
Renewable energy experts from Department of Technology and Innovation under the Ministry of Science and Technology in Lao and Science and Technology Policy Institute in Korean have met in Vientiane to discuss, research, public-private partnerships and investment projects using the technology in Laos.
This workshop was very important for renewable energy in Laos because the country does not yet understand how to promote and support the sector such as solar and wind power plants for connection to the grid, as well as hybrid or independent systems. Laos government is now seeking support to study the development of renewable energy in the country, particularly public–private partnerships to implement research and investment projects in this sector from 2016 to 2020.
Laos has considerable potential in terms of wind and solar energy, particularly in the central and southern parts of the country. Laos were cooperating with Korea to study waste power plant projects as well as conducted pre-feasibility studies for small scale wind and solar energy project, but has yet to conduct large scale wind or solar project studies due to a lack of regulations or funding support
Japanese experts discuss integrated river development
Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) recently joined with the Ministry of Energy and Mines to organise a seminar on “Integrated River Development in Vientiane. Visiting Japanese experts have shared Japan’s good practices in relation to integrated river development as well as discussed current issues on the comprehensive development and management of dams in Laos. During the seminar, JICA experts introduced several governing laws and acts designed to promote entire river development in Japan, with an emphasis on overall outcomes and benefits for multiple stakeholders.
Concepts and procedures in relation to “multi-purpose dams” developed in Japan based on benefit sharing and cost sharing principles for the purpose of pursuing the most reasonable solutions were also introduced at the seminar. The Ministry of Energy and Mines and JICA also conducted a training course on sustainable hydropower planning to improve the abilities of energy officials and provincial energy and mines departments.
Attapeu province hopes to build wind power
Laos has considerable potential in terms of wind and solar energy, particularly in the central and southern parts of the country. Specifically, the wind speeds in some parts of Attapeu province are sufficient for the development of wind power in the neighbourhood. To confirm this, more surveys of wind power in Laos are conducted by both government and private companies including Ministry of Energy and Mines, a Thai company and The PP Electric Company in Vientiane who plans to build a 15MW electricity substation for domestic supply.
Thai renewable company Impact Energy Asia (IEA) plans to build the largest wind farm in Asean – and generate 600 megawatts on 400,000 rai in southern Laos – under an agreement signed by the Lao government and the company. The accord was signed by the Minister for Investment and Planning of Laos and IEA
Luang Prabang extends electric vehicle pilot project
A project to trial the use of electric vehicles for public transport in the World Heritage town of Luang Prabang has been extended until July. An initial project to test the operation of 14 electric vehicles over a period of a year began last year, while the second pilot project will run from now until July, involving six electrically operated vehicles.
The vehicles are being used as a form of public transport in the town centre instead of tuk-tuks and jumbos because the authorities want to keep air pollution to a minimum. They also hope they will be able to reduce fuel consumption and ease traffic congestion.
The pilot project is supported by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). When the project comes to an end, JICA will provide a further 100 electric vehicles for Luang Prabang province.
WWF-Laos to further raise awareness of environmental protection
The World Wide Fund-Laos (WWF-Laos) will focus on ensuring the security of livelihoods for communities that live in and around priority sites and landscapes to help reduce pressure on natural resources. From 2015-2020, WWFLaos will be committed to protecting forests, freshwater and wildlife. WWF has identified two priority landscapes, namely the Central Annamites Landscape (shared with WWF-Vietnam), and the Mekong Flooded Forests Landscape (shared with WWF-Cambodia).
A workshop organised by WWF-Laos in collaboration with the university’s Faculty of Forestry and Faculty of Social Science on renewable energy and environmental protection held on Friday at the National University of Laos. The workshop’s aim was to raise awareness among students and make them realise the importance of protecting forests and water resources and also the use of renewable energy to reduce air and ecological pollution in the country and the world at large
Workshop highlights sustainable forest management for carbon credits
The Sustainable Forest Management and Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD)+ Support Project (F-REDD) workshop was held to introduce the overall outline of the project, discuss project activities and identify possible areas for coordination with initiatives. The purpose of the project is to strengthen capacity for clarification of the REDD+ strategy and improve forest resource information as well as to promote sustainable forest management in Laos in an effort to create a financial value for the carbon stored in forests.
The scheme is being implemented by the Department of Forestry Resource Management of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE) and the Department of Forestry of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry with support from Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Kokusai Kogyo Company Limited. The project would form part of sustainable forest management in Laos to increase forest coverage and promote benefits for people in target communities
Laos began to study REDD after the country became a member of the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility in 2008 and the project expected it would prepare the nation for participation in carbon credit trading by 2018.