VIENTIANE, Feb. 1 (Xinhua) -- A total of 58 solar power plants have been completed or under construction across Laos with a total installed capacity of 7,656 MW, local daily Vientiane Times reported on Tuesday.
Eight of these plants have been completed and 50 are under construction, said the report.
The Ministry of Energy and Mines reported the progresses made in this area of development at a recent meeting to discuss the direction of solar power development with authorities at the central and local levels.
The meeting mulled policies and measures for the development of solar power, with the aim of reducing the amount of electricity purchased from other countries.
Speaking at the meeting, Minister of Energy and Mines Daovong Phonekeo said solar power was an important strategy towards sustainable energy development.
Such diversification and cost-effective electricity generation would create a stable and strong source of energy for both export and domestic consumption, he added.
Laos is undergoing rapid socio-economic changes and the provision of sufficient energy is an important factor in the response to continuing development.
"Given recent advances in solar energy in Laos, it has become clear that more and more local and foreign businesses are interested in investing in this field," Daovong said.
In 2021, the Lao government vowed to diversify sources of energy by building solar, wind and coal-fired power plants to address the electricity shortage during the dry season, when reservoir levels drop and less hydropower can be produced.
These developments will support government efforts to increase the amount of energy exported and minimize the amount of electricity re-imported from neighboring countries in the dry season.
By 2030, it is planned that Laos will produce another 5,559 MW of electricity. Of this amount, 77.59 percent will come from hydropower and the rest will come from solar, wind and coal-fired power plants, said the report.
Laos' capacity for solar power is expected to range from 10,000 MW to 15,000 MW, while wind power potential is estimated at about 100,000 MW, according to the report. ■