The consumption of solar power in Laos is expected to increase to more than 100 MW by 2020 as the government is promoting foreign investment in solar power, wind power and other forms of renewable energy.
Two pilot solar-powered electricity generation projects are being implemented in Lao capital Vientiane, while studies are being conducted outside Vientiane for their potential of solar power generation, reported Lao state-run news agency KPL on Thursday.
The Annamite Range has been viewed as having high potential for wind power generation. Initial studies suggested that up to 2,500 MW of electricity could be generated by wind energy untapped in the mountain range.
"The development of renewable energy projects is costly and investors themselves want us to charge a high rate. However, the government is trying to bargain with the investors to make sure that power generated through renewable energy sources is available at reasonable prices," said LaoMinister of Energy and Mines Khammany Inthirath.
As for Vientiane, the government has a plan to build a garbage-fired power plant as the amount of garbage is huge and increasing in the capital city and it is also difficult to find a disposal area for it.
"So it is reasonable to build a power plant that sorts waste for the production of fertilizer and power generation for public consumption. The government is conducting a detailed study into this project," said the minister.
The government has increased investment into building substations and transmission lines in the country, especially in the Special and Specific Economic Zones, to ensure a stable supply of electricity for the manufacturing sector and domestic use.
As of 2016, Laos has developed more than 40 hydro-power and coal-fired power plants with combined installed generation capacity of 6,000 MW and many more projects are about to be completed and connected to the national transmission line system in the near future.
Over 90 percent of people in Laos have electricity for use in their homes and businesses since the government attempted to expand the electricity grid.