The International REC Standard Foundation has recently approved the People’s Democratic Republic of Lao (Lao PDR or Laos) for I-REC for Electricity issuance. The approval of Laos follows the submission of a country report detailing aspects of the local electricity market design, national policies related to renewables, and input from both domestic and international stakeholders on national market features to the I-REC Standard Foundation Board.
The I-REC Issuer in Laos is currently the Green Certificate Company (GCC). GCC certifies renewable energy generation around the world. The I-REC Standard Foundation often approves GCC as the default Issuer of I-REC(e) in the case no other suitable local Issuer can be identified. GCC as the default Issuer will be released from their position if a suitable local alternative is identified.
Laos is situated in Southeast Asia; bordered by Myanmar, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand. It has a population of over 6 million and a GDP of $18 billion. With a growth rate of 6.2% per annum prior to the pandemic, Laos is considered one of the fastest-growing economies in Southeast Asia.
Laos possesses vast reserves of hydropower because of its access to the Mekong River, high volumes of annual rainfall, and mountainous topography which provides high levels of runoff. There is also significant potential to harness the energy from biomass emanating from Laos’ agricultural and forestry waste such as rice, straw, sawdust, and corn. And the average solar irradiation is 4.4 kWh/square meter/day, which equates to 1,800–2,000 hours of sunlight per year, creating favorable conditions for solar generation across the south of the country.
Laos’ Electricity Law – initially passed in 1997, but later revised in 2008, 2011, and 2018 – provides the legal framework underpinning the Laotian power sector, establishing the principles, regulations, and measures that govern activities therein. It promotes the sustainable and efficient use of energy resources to support socio-economic development. And in 2011, the national government commissioned the “Renewable Energy Development Strategy” to provide a roadmap for the country’s strategy and targets for renewable energy developments towards 2025.
Due to there being no EAC market or tracking systems in place in Laos in the first quarter of 2021, the I-REC Standard Foundation received requests from at least three project developers and multiple Participants in establishing Laos as an approved issuance country which led to the process of approving Laos as an approved I-REC(E) country.
For more information on Laos, go here.