Domestic Electricity Consumption on the Rise in Laos

Electricite Du Laos workers repair an electricity line

The Lao Ministry of Energy and Mines has said that electricity consumption in Laos this year could reach 9,401 million kWh, increasing by 7.7% per year to 13,621 million KwH by 2025.

Currently, 47 percent of electricity consumption is used by the industrial sector, expected to rise to 52 percent in 2025, according to a report by Lao Post.

Electricite Du Laos (EDL) will have exported a total of 3,575 million kWh in 2020 and is expected to export about 6,017 million kWh in 2025.

But with the return of certain hydropower projects to state control, the cost of domestic power production could drop.

The Houy Ho Dam will be returned to the Government of Laos for operation in 2030, and other dams are to be returned in 2035, which could help lower domestic electricity rates.

According to EDL, the calculation of electricity rates is based on the socio-economic situation in each period and according to the actual income of the people. Therefore, EDL has had to bear the burden of costs and losses associated with long-term debt.

Laos currently has 78 operational hydropower plants with a combined generation capacity of 9,972 MW, and annual power output of about 52,211 million kWh.

The country also has a thermal power plant (Hongsa), four biomass power plants, and six solar power plants.

The government has developed more than 65,563 kilometers of high, medium, and low voltage power transmission lines, as well as 74 electricity distribution stations, while ninety-five percent of households across the country are now connected to electricity.

Last month, EDL and China Southern Power Grid signed an agreement to jointly establish a new venture to operate the country’s power grid.