Laos to diversify energy sources to minimize imports in dry season

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VIENTIANE, Nov. 10 (Xinhua) -- Lao government has vowed to diversify its sources of energy by developing solar, wind power and coal-fired power plants to minimize the amount of electricity re-imported from neighboring countries in the dry season.

These developments will support government efforts to increase the amount of energy exported and minimize the amount of electricity re-imported from neighboring countries in the dry season, local daily Vientiane Times reported on Wednesday.

Addressing the National Assembly recently, Lao Minister of Energy and Mines Daovong Phonekeo said the country has huge potential to produce energy from hydro, solar and wind-powered plants for sale to Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia.

As of 2020, Laos had 82 sources of energy with a combined installed capacity of more than 10,000 MW. Of the total, 80.4 percent comes from hydropower and 18.6 percent from coal-fired power plants.

"About 91.49 percent of the electricity consumed in Laos comes from hydropower plants," Daovong said, adding that diversification of power sources will enable Laos to ensure energy security.

"From 2021-2025, we plan to produce 1,807 MW of electricity, with hydropower accounting for 57 percent of the total, coal-fired power 19 percent and solar power 24 percent," he added.

By 2030, it is planned that Laos will produce another 5,559 MW of electricity. Of the total, 77.59 percent will come from hydropower and the rest will come from solar, wind and coal-fired power plants.

Laos' capacity for solar power is expected to range from 10,000 MW to 15,000 MW, while wind power potential is estimated at around 100,000 MW.

"The main reason we want to produce more electricity from coal-fired power is to minimize the amount of reimported power and address the electricity shortage in the dry season," Daovong said.

Earlier in the year, Daovong told the daily that two coal-fired power plants are planned for Sekong province. These plants will become operational and begin transmitting electricity to Cambodia in 2025.

In the first nine months of 2021, Laos earned 2.012 billion U.S. dollars from the export of electricity, an increase of 12 percent compared to the same period of 2020. Enditem

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