The Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) recognizes that access to reliable, secure, and affordable electricity is essential to powering economic growth and development and to becoming a major regional power provider. The Lao power sector is at risk from an array of natural, technological, and human-caused hazards, which may interrupt the provision of electricity or lead to a chronic undersupply of power. A resilient Lao power system could thrive under changing conditions and withstand, respond to, and recover rapidly from the impacts of hazards. To address these risks, policy-makers, planners, and system operators of the Lao PDR have conducted a power sector vulnerability assessment (VA) and resilience planning process to safeguard their systems. Lao PDR now has the opportunity to develop comprehensive policies and implement actions that increase its power sector resilience incrementally over time.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) partnered with the Lao PDR government to support this resilience planning process. A power sector resilience planning team (Resilience Team) composed of experts from Abt Associates, the USAID’s implementing partner for the USAID Clean Power Asia program, and the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), with the support of USAID and USAID Clean Power Asia staff and consultants, led a process consisting of two activities, a Vulnerability Assessment and a Resilience Action Plan.
These activities relied on extensive engagement of a VA Advisory Group composed of high-level power sector decision makers from the Ministry of Energy and Mines, Électricité du Laos, and EDL Generation Public Company as well as a VA Stakeholder Group and a Resilience Stakeholder Group consisting of representatives from various ministries and relevant organizations.