The first priority of Lao PDR’s energy policy is to provide reliable, affordable, and sustainable electricity to ensure economic growth and to reduce poverty. The main focus areas are to increase the electricity access and hydropower development.
The Renewable Energy Development Strategy in Lao PDR (2011) sets the target for renewable energy share in national energy mix in 2025. The plan consists of three strategies: short-term strategy (2010-2015) aiming at provision of necessary studies and capacity building, mid-term strategy (2016-2020) to establish clear renewable energy framework, and long-term strategy (2021-2025) to develop a fully competitive renewable energy market.
In 2015, the Government has approved the Policy on Sustainable Hydropower Development in Lao PDR. The purpose of the policy is providing guidance and reference on hydropower sector investment as well as to inform and encourage project developers/investors to be aware of the Government policy on sustainable development in Lao PDR.
Household electrification is also an important aspect of Lao energy policy. The Power Sector Policy and Targets for 2020 outlined the target of 90% electrification rate by 2020. With abundant hydropower resources, the development of hydropower constitutes another key area. The Law on Water and Water Resources (1996) sets the regulation for utilization of hydropower to ensure sustainability of hydropower projects and to prevent any adverse effect on the environment.