Tropical neighbors chase energy goals

Published onMarch 7, 2018

Water management in the Mekong region is, in practice, dominated by energy objectives. In Cambodia, the priority is to substitute domestically produced hydropower for expensive diesel and electricity imports. In Laos, the priority is to generate revenue by drawing in foreign investment in dams and export excess electricity to its neighbours, with Thailand as its biggest market. In Vietnam, which has already built out most of its hydropower potential, the priority is to meet a projected tripling in energy demand by 2030 while protecting the economically vital Mekong Delta from the impacts of upstream dams. Experts have produced volumes of peer-reviewed economic and environmental studies showing how much Cambodia and Vietnam will lose from reduced capture fisheries and sediment delivery to the delta as a result of dam building upstream…

…however, recent work by the Stimson Centre, IUCN, the University of California-Berkeley, and The Nature Conservancy shows if Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam take advantage of recent advances in renewable power generation and transmission technologies, they can achieve energy security at significantly lower social, environmental and political risks.

Source: https://www.bangkokpost.com/opinion/opinion/1417523/tropical-neighbours-chase-energy-goals