The Lao government has been advised to invest in renewable energy, as the country holds great potential to develop environmentally-friendly power.
Mekong Watch, a Japanese non-profit organisation based in Tokyo, proposed that the Lao government encourage private companies’ investment in renewable energy development, especially wind, solar and biomass energy, to replace hydroelectricity projects.
The construction of dams on Laos’ rivers and the Mekong River in its territory has adversely impacted the environment and the livelihoods of people in the lower Mekong region, according to the organisation.
A report from the World Wide Fund for Nature revealed that the building of hydroelectricity dams in the Mekong River in Laos and China forced more than 850 fish species to migrate hundreds of kilometres south.
When water is released from those dams, erosion and negative impact on farming in the river’s lower course will be inevitable, it noted.
Lao Minister of Energy and Mines Khammany Inthirath said the country’s energy development not only focuses on dams, but also renewable energy including solar power, wind and biogas. He affirmed that the government has studied wind energy in three southern provinces.
The country is set to complete construction of a wind farm by 2025. Both of Laos’ central and southern regions are suitable for solar energy development. In addition, the country may produce biomass energy from bagasse in those areas./.