As ASEAN countries ink deals to move away from fossil fuel consumption and toward renewable energy sources, Laos is set to benefit from this environment-friendly trend.
According to Nikkei Asia, Singapore, a city-state whose primary source of energy is natural gas (95 percent), is trying to make a shift towards importing 30 percent of its energy supply from 4 gigawatts of low-carbon electricity by 2035.
This in turn has allowed countries such as Laos, which has been increasing its renewable power generation capacity, to benefit greatly from the move.
Around 80 percent of the electricity produced by Laos is sold to neighboring countries, Thailand and Vietnam, making up about 30 percent of the country’s total exports. However, Laos has now readied transmission infrastructure to export power to Cambodia, and it has already been supplying electricity to Singapore since 2022.
The latter kicked off last year with the start of the Laos-Thailand-Malaysia-Singapore power integration project (LTMS-PIP), which will transfer 100 MW of power from Laos to Singapore over two years.
The developed infrastructure to send power to Cambodia will also be used in the future to export more energy to Singapore through Cambodia.
Additionally, Laos has also begun the construction of a USD 700 million wind power project, called the Monsoon Wind Power Project. This will be the largest wind power plant in Southeast Asia, with the capacity of producing 600 MW of power, which will mainly be exported to Vietnam, which has recently suffered from chronic energy shortages.
Ultimately, the generation and increased export of renewable energy are aimed toward creating the ASEAN Power Grid, facilitating multilateral power trading in the region.
Moreover, cross-border renewable energy deals spread out supply throughout the region, providing more protection against natural disasters and geopolitical risks.
Hiroshi Takahashi, a professor at Japan’s Hosei University specializing in renewable energy policy, referred to a cross-border electrical grid as a form of “collective energy security,” and sees ASEAN as a good fit for such a project.