Lao PM stresses energy security and sustainable future in Asean

Lao Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong has highlighted the importance of renewable energy in ensuring energy security and a sustainable future in Asean and urged future cooperation in research and development.

Speaking at the 32nd Asean Ministers on Energy Meeting (AMEM) which opened yesterday in Vientiane, Mr Thongsing took the opportunity to highlight hydropower as an abundant renewable energy source in Laos, which the country wishes to further harness and export to the region.

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He noted that during the 32nd Senior Officials Meeting on Energy and Related Meetings in Luang Prabang last June, it was agreed that electricity generated from large scale hydropower plants should be included in the renewable energy grouping, thereby effectively increasing Asean’s use of renewable energy.

The Lao PM also urged Asean nations to continue studies on the renewable energy market and provide necessary funding for the promotion of environmentally friendly green energy.

“The development of renewable energy and green, clean energy is a force for good that does not pollute the atmosphere,” he said.
Laos has great potential for hydropower development, generating about one-third of Laos’ capital income from natural resources.
“However, in developing hydropower plants in our country, we do not ignore the impacts that may occur. We act with the utmost caution and responsibility.”

Mr Thongsing was aware that the energy generated from hydropower was considered as clean, non-polluting and renewable energy. Moreover, hydropower development can help alleviate drought and floods.

Lao Minister of Energy and Mines Mr Soulivong Daravong said, “We also recognise the volatility in global energy markets due to economic slowdown and recovery in several countries.”

“To cope with this situation, we must promote energy efficiency and conservation, and find renewable energy sources so as to reduce dependence on the import of oil and other fuels.”

Up to 300 participants were expected to attend the 32nd AMEM and its related meetings in Vientiane yesterday which is proceeding under the theme “Power Integration for Asean Prosperity”.

During the 32nd AMEM, the energy ministers will consider reports on the development of the Asean Plan of Action on Energy Cooperation for 2016-20 working towards the key goals of energy security, accessibility, affordability and sustainability; and learn about the pilot project entitled ‘Laos, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore Power Integration Project’ to study cross border power trade from Laos to Singapore.

Meanwhile the Asean Plus Three ministers will appraise the work progress on cooperation in the area of energy security on oil, coal and civilian nuclear energy, renewable energy, energy efficiency and conservation.

The 8th East Asian Summit Energy Ministers Meeting will discuss broader cooperation on technology transfer in the areas of bio-fuels and renewable and alternative power generation.

This is the second time Laos has had the honour of hosting the AMEM since the country joined Asean in 1997. Laos first hosted the event in July, 2006.

Source: Vientiane Times
Published on September 24, 2014