Project Description

Mekong Challenge Program on water and Food (CPWF) Potential for Increasing the Role of Renewables in the Mekong Power Supply (MK 14) 

Donor / Partner:   AusAID / CGIAR |    Duration:  2012-2013    |    Location: Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Lao PDR

About: Renewable energy technologies contribute only a modest proportion of electricity supply in the Mekong region, with the exception of medium and large-scale hydropower (i.e. ? 30MW capacity), small-scale renewables and one or two turn-key projects.

The region has, however, considerable potential for renewables using both relatively mature technologies (such as wind and solar photovoltaic) and emerging technologies (such as solar thermal). Both Viet Nam and Thailand have harnessed less than 10% of the renewables that could be realised by 2030.

The growth in demand for power and high levels of investment also offers the potential for investment in environmentally sustainable renewable power technologies. Countries in the region have the opportunity to leapfrog conventional development paths to cutting-edge renewable technologies. If these technologies are not adopted in the near term, countries are at risk of making investments in long-term capital stock in potentially damaging and environmentally and socially unsustainable hydropower technologies. This will lock-in these conventional technologies and potentially dysfunctional development pathways for decades to come.

This project seeks to promote the deployment of more sustainable and equitable renewable energy generation technologies as an alternative to medium and large-scale hydropower.

ICEM is analyzing the key barriers to the deployment of renewable energy in the region and recommending ways to overcome them. The project will deepen the analysis of renewable energy in the region to build on and expand a current ADB technical assistance project to carry out a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) of the regional power development plan for the Greater Mekong Sub-region, which is being implemented by ICEM.