UK, Australia Boost Laos’ Green Energy with Floating Solar Workshop

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UK, Australia Boost Laos' Green Energy with Floating Solar Workshop
A group photo with The UK Ambassador to Laos Melanie Barlow at the center

Laos, with support from the British and Australian governments, is gearing up to boost its renewable energy initiatives after a three-day workshop focusing on floating solar technology.

Organized by the United Kingdom’s Mission to ASEAN and the British Embassy in Laos, the event, from December 11 to 13, aimed to boost the capabilities of the Lao Holding State Enterprise (LHSE), a state corporation primarily engaged in financing the energy industry, in implementing vital floating solar projects.

The workshop also brought together experts from the UK and Australia with experience in significant investments in large-scale floating solar plants.

“The UK Government has taken a significant step towards accelerating Laos’ transition to renewable energy by funding this three-day capacity-building workshop on renewable energy and floating solar engineering,” said UK Ambassador to Laos Malanie Barlow.

Floating solar technology, also known as floating photovoltaics (FPV), involves placing solar panels on structures that float on water bodies, offering advantages such as lower land costs and reduced regulatory restrictions compared to land-based solar farms.

The focus of the workshop was on knowledge sharing, financial advisory, and collaborative efforts to support Laos in its green economy aspirations.

“This collaboration aligns with Laos’ National Renewable Energy Development Plan, which aims to increase the share of renewable energy in the country’s power generation to 30 percent by 2030,” added Ambassador Barlow.

Sarah Tiffin, UK Ambassador to ASEAN, further emphasized the importance of Laos’ energy transition in the global fight against climate change. “We are delighted to collaborate with LHSE and provide support through this workshop to explore ways to enhance energy stability. The UK is committed to investing in Laos’ ambitious large-scale floating solar project.”

In a significant development, the Lao Government and the Nam Theun 2 hydropower plant shareholders signed a project development agreement for Nam Theun 2-Solar. This project, set to be Laos’ largest hybrid floating solar venture with a 240-megawatt peak (MWp) capacity, will be constructed on a 3.2-square-kilometer surface area of the Nam Theun 2 reservoir.