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Govt creates fund to promote renewable energy

The government has set up a fund that will mobilise financing for the promotion and development of renewable energy amid the growing demand for clean and sustainable electricity generation.
Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith on August 7 endorsed a prime ministerial decree that provides legal back-up for the establishment and operation of the Lao Energy Promotion and Development Fund.
According to the decree, which was published in the Lao Official Gazette on Monday, the fund will also be used to address unexpected energy-related problems and renewable energy generation businesses in line with the nation’s green growth strategy.

The fund is administered by the Ministry of Energy and Mines. A management board consisting of representatives from five ministries and the Bank of the Lao PDR is the policy making body.
The Office of the Lao Energy Promotion and Development Fund will serve as a secretariat with a mandate to implement approved strategies, income generation and expenditure plans, investment plans, and daily administration activities.
The fund will source financing from the state budget, grants and loans, donations from individuals and the energy sector, interest raised from deposited money, and energy administration and service fees.
The aim of the scheme is to provide loans for renewable energy promotion and development, notably the generation of solar power, wind power, biofuel, and gas. Mini hydropower projects will also benefit from financial support.
In addition, the fund will provide financing for the expansion of electricity supply in rural areas, for agriculture, and the promotion of efficient usage of electricity. The fund will also be used for surveys, research, and energy development projects that are green and sustainable.
The fund also aims to finance human resource development, raise public awareness on renewable energy generation, finance the fund’s administration and operation costs, and maintain the supply of electricity to villages.
One of the special provisions of the decree is that, although the fund’s accounting system is governed by the Budget Law, the fund’s management board has the right to compile income and expenditure plans and submit them to the government for approval under the law.
Any unspent money will be rolled over for use the following year so that capital can be accumulated to finance other essential work.
It is Laos’ policy to generate electricity both for export and domestic use. In recent years, a large number of electricity generation and supply projects have been completed and become operational.
While most people in the country now have access to electricity, the cost of electricity is high when compared to people’s average income. The government is now considering ways to make the price of electricity fairer, both for stakeholders in the energy business and for consumers.


By Times Reporters
(Latest Update
October 8,
2020)


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