Hatfield Completes Japanese-funded Rural Electrification Project in Six Provinces of Lao PDR

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the World Bank, and the Asian Development Bank have provided support to the government of Lao PDR to expand and improve the main electrical grid systems for rural electrification development as well as to support off-grid alternatives.

JICA engaged Hatfield Consultants Mekong to update the existing Rural Electrification database managed by the Institute of Renewable Energy Promotion (IREP) within the Ministry of Energy and Mines and to assess the performance of the Rural Electrification Fund. The objectives of the project were to:

  1. Update IREP’s rural electrification geographic information system (GIS) database in six target provinces of Lao PDR to provide current information and meaningful tools to support and manage the development of rural electrification, especially for further development of off-grid electrification schemes; and
  2. Collect primary and secondary data on the Rural Electrification Fund as well on rural electrification development in the six target provinces to enhance understanding and efforts to support rural electrification, local development, and renewable energy development in Lao PDR.

Hatfield Consultants Mekong utilized several approaches for data collection, including consolidating data from multiple stakeholders, interviewing key stakeholders, and conducting a thorough review of relevant secondary data sources. Hatfield engaged with various stakeholders and reviewed, updated and consolidated relevant secondary data collected that pertain to rural electrification in the six target provinces.

The updated geodatabase and series of maps provide valuable information for the development of rural electrification in Lao PDR particularly to further development of off-grid electrification schemes including micro- and pico-hydropower in isolated areas of Lao PDR. In the meantime, the data collection on the Rural Electrification Fund provides JICA with an enhanced understanding of the Fund’s contribution to rural electrification and renewable energy development and can inform JICA’s future activities and investment in rural electrification in Lao PDR.

Funding for the Project was provided by JICA. The focal areas included six provinces – three provinces in each of northern and southern Lao PDR – with the lowest household electrification rates in the country.

Source: Hatfield Consultants. Date: May 31 2016