Energy efficiency
Research and Advocacy
Livelihood development
Research and Advocacy
Energy Access
Livelihood development
Energy efficiency
Livelihood development
Livelihood development
Energy efficiency
Energy Access
Livelihood development
Energy Access
Research and Advocacy
Research and Advocacy

Research and Advocacy

Research and advocacy for small scale decentralized renewable energy

The main objective under this component is to make sure that the experience of RISE project and the challenges faced in the field are documented and shared as widely as possible and these, along with further research, can contribute to better acceptance of and more supportive policies for small scale decentralized renewable energy technologies.

The 2 main pillars of the Lao power sector development policy are to bring access to electricity to 90% of the population by 2020 and to generate revenue with the export of (hydro) power. While these two policy objectives are commendable, RISE projects believe that risks and opportunities should be carefully assessed before pressing ahead to fast with solutions which could have a negative impact. For rural electrification, the main delivery model deployed is heavily grid extension. While this has proved relatively successful (at least in terms of number of people with access to electricity and rate of electrification) so far, the future requires further thinking into diversified technologies and delivery models. The areas remaining to be electrified are remote small scale decentralized renewable energy technologies also have a role to play. Advantages of decentralized technology include, flexibility (possibility to adapt to the users’ needs), participation of local communities and their empowerment to make decisions. In some cases, these technologies can also be cheaper.

Laos is blessed with a large and still mainly untapped potential to develop hydropower. Since Laos is surrounded by countries with soaring energy needs the temptation is big to try to develop hydropower as fast as possible to export electricity and generate revenue. However, there are substantial risks linked to this strategy and they need to be carefully addressed. These include, uncertainty of demand in neighbouring countries, lack of comprehensive planning, unguaranteed long term revenue from export projects, potential high impact social and negative impacts of some hydropower projects, ineffective management, and foreign hyrdo developers with dubious intentions. RISE project believes that the integrated resource planning (IRP) approach should be implemented so that all options can be considered on a fair basis and that the best and least impactful projects can be developed in priority.

RISE project conducts research and engages in network to show the benefit of decentralized renewable energy. In addition it actively engages with the Government and its development partners to bring these issues in the agenda of discussions.

               
                        Opening session of policy dialogue          Cover of report comparing cost of rural electrification