Lao authorities say they plan to build more transmission lines throughout the country to expand domestic consumption of electricity to 70% of the population by 2015 and 90% by 2020. Currently, 53% of Laos' 6-million population have access to electricity.
Laos' seven dams are currently producing some 670 megawatts of electricity, which translates into some 3.5 billion kilowatts/hour. Over 2.2 billion kilowatts/hour were exported to Thailand last year, leaving some 1.3 billion kw/hr for domestic consumption which was not enough, forcing Laos to buy back from Thailand approximately 450 million kw./hr, worth 20
Officials say currently over 2.8 million people in rural and remote areas across the country do not have electricity, adding that they face an increase of 15% in energy need annually, and expect the need will go up to 30-40% in a few years with expansion in the mining sector.
Listen to our Laos Today report for more details in Lao.